The Legal Aspects of “Zero-Fare” Tour in Shopping Tourism: A Case of Chinese Visitors in Hong Kong

Sze Ming Tse, Quinton K.T. Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The governments of China and Hong Kong have adopted different legal approaches to tackle “zero-fare” tours in shopping tourism. This paper describes, analyzes, and evaluates the legal aspects of the two approaches. It is found that the Chinese government chooses to address the issue by enacting the Tourism Law with specific articles targeting “zero-fare” tours; whereas the Hong Kong government is taking over the regulatory role of travel agencies by setting a high threshold instead of dealing with “zero-fare” tours specifically. The Chinese Tourism Law has created some short-lived impacts in the first year but a longer-term impact is yet to be seen. While the legislative process in Hong Kong is still going on, the industry practice in “zero-fare” tour operations has further evolved, thus there is a risk of making the legislation less relevant. While this is a case study about Hong Kong, it expounds on a real issue which has relevance beyond Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, particularly to destinations that have an interest in receiving more Chinese visitors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-314
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • China outbound tourism
  • shopping and retailing in tourism
  • socio-cultural aspects of tourism
  • tourism planning and management
  • tourism policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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