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HK agencies to be pushing travel insurance
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According Hong Kong's Takungpao.com, four travel agencies in the Special Administrative Region have been blamed by the Consumer Council for forcing tourists to purchase their designated travel insurance.

The four travel agencies are reported to be Sig Holiday, Smart Holiday, Miramar Travel Ltd., and Kwan Kin Tours. The parties are said to bundle their five-day or six-day trips to Beijing, Bankok, and Tokyo with designated insurance products, and are forcing tourists to purchase these products before they are allowed to join the tour groups.

The Consumer Council states though there is no ruling to ban this kind of sale by travel agencies, the sales method affect consumers' right of choice, and it may result in unfair practices it by more travel agencies.

To date, Sig Holiday and Miramar Travel have denied that they have asked tourists to purchase designated insurance policies. Kwan Kin Tours said that it asked tourists to buy the designated insurance products just to make facilitate compensation in case of accident. And Smart Holiday said that it designed the travel insurance to protect tourists better.

The Hong Kong Travel Industry Council stated that consumers have the right to choose a travel agency, and travel agencies can make their own business policies on, but it added that it would send a guideline to its member companies, reminding them to advise tourists about their travel insurance policy before signing a tour contract with them.

(China Hospitality News July 21, 2009)

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