Riot police were dispatched in Macao yesterday to subdue a group
of furious mainland tourists who accused tour guides of trying to
force them to pay for activities not on the schedule and
threatening to abandon them without any food or accommodation,
China News Service reported today.
Two riot police vans and about 30 riot police, armed with
shields and batons, were brought in to calm the dispute, which
lasted about eight hours, between 126 tourists and their tour
guides, the report added.
The dispute ended about 10 PM when government officials
were called in to mediate and the tourists, in four separate groups
all from Tangshan City, Hebei Province, agreed to go back to their
hotels, it said.
Four people were detained for questioning although it was
unclear if they were tourists or the guides, police told the
The dispute erupted when the tourists said their Macao guides,
the report didn't say how many were involved, gave them a choice of
paying 120 yuan to visit a casino or spend 420 yuan to attend an
entertainment performance yesterday.
If they refused, they would have no food and no hotel despite
having prepaid for the trip, the report said, reproducing an
article by Macao Daily News.
The tourists were on the way to a beach about 2
PM yesterday when they were given the choice. The guides
complained that "the mainland tourists spent too little," the
report cited a leader of one of the four tour groups, surnamed
Dong, as saying.
Dong said in the report that they asked the guides to reconsider
the excessive activities, but found they were abandoned on the
beach. Their drivers and guides disappeared, the report said.
The four tour group leaders soon found the drivers and the
guides in a coffee shop, the report said. The two sides then
argued, catching the attention of a policeman, the report said.
The officer asked the four leaders to go to a bus station near
the beach after he spoke with the tour guides, the report said.
One of the leaders fell onto the ground and lost consciousness
after she was allegedly attacked by the officer on the way to the
bus station, the report said.
A female group leader allegedly slapped the police officer in
the face, knocking him over, said another report, citing Macao
Daily News. More than 10 police officers soon arrived. The
tourists accused the officer of instigating the violence, said the
The remaining tourists became irritated and surrounded the
police officer's car when he tried to leave the scene about 8
PM yesterday, the report said.
The furious tourists demanded the original policeman stay and
started pushing and shoving the other officers, who tried to escort
Dong and another male tour group leader away by force, the report
Ambulances arrived about 40 minutes later and sent those who got
injured in the fight to hospitals, the report said. The 30
additional riot police also arrived at the scene, the report
The tourists were on a 15-day trip that included stops in Yunnan
Province, Guizhou Province, Hong Kong and Macao, the report
The Macao government's tourist office issued a statement early
today saying it was aware of the dispute, but considered it to be a
More than 2.4 million people traveled to Macao in October, more
than half of whom were from the Chinese mainland, according to
(Shanghai Daily, December 6, 2007)