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DPP Welcomes Mainland Tourists to Visit Taiwan


 DPP Welcomes Mainland Tourists to Visit Taiwan

Source: United Daily News

February 25, 2016

Chang Ching-sen (張景森), executive director of policy research under Tsai Ing-wen’s Presidential campaign office, yesterday stated that the current Regulations for Administration of Travel Agencies (旅行業管理規則) were very rigid and inflexible, adding that the DPP administration would improve Taiwan’s tourism industry after taking office on May 20.  Chang stressed that Taiwan’s tourism industry was the most significant form of cross-Strait cultural interaction and communication, and was the bedrock for the future peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.  Chang went on to vow that the DPP would not allow the number of Mainland tourists to decline.


Chang reiterated that the DPP as well as the counties and cities under the DPP administration all welcomed Mainland tourists.  Earlier, on January 26, Chang convened a meeting to discuss possible countermeasures to the recent decline in the number of Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan. During the meeting, officials of the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and people from related industries reached a preliminary decision. They proposed promoting an ROC visa waiver program for ten ASEAN countries.


Chiu Lo-feng, chairwoman of the International Tourist Hotels Association of Taipei (臺北市觀光旅館商業同業公會), stated that the number of Mainland tourists staying in Taipei hotels would decline by 10% in March, and the total number of Mainland tourists would decline by 20% to 25%.  Chiu pointed out that even the number of individual Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan would decline.


According to an investigation conducted by the Tourism Bureau, the Mainland would reduce the number of Mainland tour groups visiting Taiwan per day by one-third to two-thirds, namely, 1,600 to 3,300 tourists per day, impacting airlines, hotels, restaurants, shops, and tour buses.


Alex Lu (魯孝亞), chairman of the Taipei Tour Bus Association, stated that judging from the reservations for tour buses in February, it was expected that at least 600 tour buses would be left idle, and the situation in April and May was not likely to improve.  Lu went on to say that there were 16,000 tour buses in Taiwan, 4,000 of which were used to transport Mainland tourists around the island. 


An Fongshan (安峰山), spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the Mainland’s State Council, yesterday stated that the change in the number of Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan was a market phenomenon, based on the supply and demand of travel agencies and tourists, but the Mainland would handle the issue of Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan based on cross-Strait relations and the tourism market.  


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