Mr CHAN Kin-por enquired whether proper training had been provided for tour guides conducting eco-tours as this would be an essential part of eco-tourism. He considered it necessary for the Administration to make reference to the successful experience of Taiwan in the development of eco-tourism. With the banning of trawling activities with the aim to protecting marine ecosystem and fishery resources in Hong Kong waters, he enquired whether consideration would be given to developing marine eco-tourism in Hong Kong.
Acting Assistant Director (Country & Marine Parks) responded that reference had been made to the successful overseas experience in the development of eco-tourism. There would be training and accreditation for tourist guides for inbound tours. ADEP(NC&IP) added that with the establishment of the geoparks, training had been stepped up for tour guides involved in eco-tourism in those areas. There were about 600 participants in the geology courses supported by the Administration since 2009 as part of the promotional activities for geoparks. With the better protection for the marine environment accorded by the banning of trawling activities in Hong Kong waters, consideration would be given to promoting marine eco-tourism. Since 2010, the Administration had launched a pilot scheme to help fishermen pursue fisheries-related eco-tourism business by retraining them to become tour guides for eco-tours.