As recommend in the Study on "An Evaluation of the Need to Upgrade the Service Professionalism of Hong Kong's Tour Co-ordinators" conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1997, a Code of Conduct for tour co-ordinators was formulated in August 1999 as a guide for professional tour co-ordination.
Under Article 14(d) of the Articles of Association of the Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Co-ordinators (HARTCO), members of HARTCO are bound by the Codes of Conduct promulgated by the Association's Executive Board for the purposes of regulating the standard of performance of members.
1. To maintain and enhance the service standard of tour co-ordinators in Hong Kong.
2. To promote the professionalism of Hong Kong's tour co-ordinators
3. To ensure that the reputation of Hong Kong's tourism industry is dominant in all considerations.
1. HARTCO members shall familiarize themselves with all the provisions of this Code of Conduct and their duties and obligations when providing services to tour participants.
2. HARTCO member s shall act in accordance with the objectives of this Code of Conduct at all times.
3. HARTCO member s shall maintain the highest standard s of professionalism at all times when providing services to tour participants and shall abide by all relevant statutory requirements.
Member s shall arrive punctually for all engagements.
Members shall wear their membership card at all times during work. Members shall dress appropriately, and appear presentable and professional.
i) Members shall familiarize themselves with the route of the assigned tour.
ii) Members shall take tour participants to, and introduce, all scenic spots mentioned on the itinerary as specified and arranged by the tour operator.
iii) Members shall explain all types of activities/programmes, whether they are included in the tour or are optional, to tour participants in advance.
iv) Members shall seek approval from the tour operator before arranging any additional tours or changes to the itinerary specified and arranged by the tour operator.
4. Standards of Services
i) Members shall make the safety of tour participants their primary concern. T hey shall draw the attention of the tour participants to relevant health and safety regulations as and when required to do so.
ii) Members shall undertake engagements only in those languages with which they are familiar.
iii) Members shall be courteous and positive towards tour participants, as well as whoever is encountered during the course of an engagement.
iv) Members shall always provide tour participants with relevant and accurate data.
v) Members shall be up to date with current political, economic and social issues in Hong Kong and worldwide.
vi) Members shall be knowledgeable about Hong Kong, her history, geography, heritage, customs and the range of tourism products and attractions which should be introduced professionally to tour participants.
vii) Members shall refrain from soliciting tips from tour participants. Tips shall be given on a purely voluntary basis.
i) Members shall observe shopping activities arranged by the tour operator .
ii) Members shall remind tour participants of their rights as consumers.
iii) Members shall, if asked to make arrangements or recommendations for tour participants regarding shopping, take them to shops which are reliable and have a g o o d reputation.
iv) Members shall refrain from exerting any pressure and/or undue influence on tour participants to make purchase at shops.
v) Members shall remind tour participant s about the laws concerning intellectual property rights when shopping.
6. Obligation to the Tour Operator
i) Members shall, when required, present clean and unambiguous invoices and any other work-related documentation to the tour operator.
ii) Members shall contact the tour operator as soon as reasonable and practicable when difficulties that are not readily resolvable arise during the course of an engagement.
7. Membership Card
i) Members shall under no circumstances transfer or lend their HARTCO membership cards, or any other items providing job-related privileges, to any other person for any purpose.
ii) Members shall, in case of cessation of membership for whatever reason, return their membership cards to the Secretariat within one month of the cessation, and refrain from using any HARTCO identification thereafter.