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Mainland Said to Drastically Restrict Tourists Visiting Taiwan as Elections Approach

icon2015/10/07
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 Mainland Said to Drastically Restrict Tourists Visiting Taiwan as Elections Approach

Source: All Taipei Newspapers

Oct. 07, 2015

 

The 2016 Presidential Election is fast approaching. Rumors are circulating among domestic travel agencies that from December 16 to January 15, the Mainland would introduce a tourism cap, reducing the number of Mainland Chinese tourists allowed to visit Taiwan by 30 to 50 percent, or even 95 percent at the maximum, in the month preceding Taiwan's January 16 general elections.    

 Domestic travel agencies have stated that according to past experiences, the Mainland would set a number cap for Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan preceding Taiwan's presidential election, starting November. It is expected that the cap would be removed after the election.   

 According to Lai Ping-jung (賴炳榮), a Tourism Bureau (交通部觀光局) official, Taiwan's current rules stipulate that Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan in tour groups and as individuals are limited to 5,000 in each category, or a total of 10,000 per day. Therefore, if the Mainland reduces the number of tourists allowed to visit Taiwan by 95%, then only a few hundred Mainland tourists will visit Taiwan per day, which would severely affect Taiwan's tourism industry, Lai has added.  

 The Mainland's tourism operators confirmed that as the KMT was facing an up-hill battle in the run-up to the January 16 general elections, and because the 2016 Presidential Election was close to the Chinese New Year holidays, the Mainland's plan to limit the number of tourists visiting Taiwan was intended to make seats available on cross-Strait flights for Taiwanese businessmen on the Mainland to return home to vote in the elections and enjoy the holidays. Mainland travel agencies reportedly would follow the government's policies so as to make it more convenient for Taiwanese businessmen on the Mainland to return home for the elections.     

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