The number of foreign tourists visiting Taiwan this year has not been as good as expected, and the hotel industry has been complaining about the inability to wait for tourists. (Photography/Zheng Guoqiang)
The Ministry of Transport recently announced that the ban on group tours to China will be lifted on March 1 next year.Taiwanese group tourists are allowed to travel to China.In this regard, Minister of Transportation Wang Guocai said in an interview this morning (6th) that although the details will not be announced until next year’s Spring Festival, related preparations such as cooperative hotels and local ground agencies will take three months to prepare and organize the tour. Negotiate with the industry.
Wang Guocai said that after the ban is officially lifted in March next year, in addition to the current 10 fixed direct flight points, the Civil Aviation Administration will be urged to develop measures based on the recovery of cross-strait tourism, and another 13 charter flights will be opened based on the number of passengers and tourism demand. point to a direct route point.
The Ministry of Transport expresses goodwill and allows Taiwanese group tourists to travel to China
Wang Guocai pointed out that Taiwan has been showing goodwill to China and hopes to allow both sides of the Taiwan Strait to open the travel ban at the same time based on the “principle of equality and reciprocity.” However, it has not received a response from China. However, considering the difficulties in operation and livelihood of domestic tourism operators, the decision was made Taking people’s livelihood into consideration, we took the lead in announcing the lifting of the ban.
In fact, since China suspended individual free travel to Taiwan in 2019, cross-strait tourist exchanges have dropped sharply. Later, in February 2020, the Immigration Department announced the suspension of Chinese tour groups from traveling to Taiwan on the grounds of epidemic control, which has a negative impact on the tourism industry. Cause huge pressure.
From an objective statistical point of view, according to data released by the Ministry of Transport, before the epidemic in 2018 and 2019, the number of foreign tourists visiting Taiwan exceeded 10 million. The main tourists visiting Taiwan were tourists from Hong Kong, Macao, China and Japan. Mainly, among them, Chinese tourists account for about 2.7 million, accounting for about a quarter of the number of foreign tourists visiting Taiwan.
After the epidemic, the number of tourists visiting Taiwan was not as good as expected. Tourists from mainland China were few and far between, and tourists from Hong Kong and Macao exceeded those from Japan.
When the epidemic broke out in 2020, the number of foreigners coming to Taiwan dropped sharply, and even hit a new low of 140,500 in 2021. The number of mainland tourists coming to Taiwan that year also hit a new low of 13,300.
Since the second half of last year, countries around the world have gradually lifted their lockdowns, and Taiwan has also opened its doors this year. However, the number of foreign tourists visiting Taiwan has not been as expected. According to the latest statistics, a total of approximately 4.36 million tourists came to Taiwan from January to September this year. , including about 840,000 Hong Kong and Macao tourists, about 587,800 Japanese tourists, and about 148,000 mainland tourists.
The world welcomes retaliatory tourism, and Taiwan is haggard
In other words, as the epidemic eases, a wave of “revenge tourism” has emerged around the world. Countries have tried their best to rush for international tourism. Taiwan also lifted its border blockade in October 2020 and officially opened its doors. The Tourism Administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has previously established The target of 6 million tourists visiting Taiwan this year has reached 4.36 million as of September this year. The 6 million target can be stably reached.
However, compared with other countries, it has been one anniversary since Taiwan opened its doors to the outside world. While countries around the world are welcoming “retaliatory tourism opportunities,” Taiwan’s recovery of international tourists this year has lagged far behind other countries. Among them, except for mainland tourists who have been affected by In addition to the interference of political factors, in fact, the arrival of tourists from Japan, Hong Kong and Macao to Taiwan is also not as expected.
The tourism industry is complaining
With very few Chinese tourists and less than expected return of Japanese tourists, this has severely impacted the domestic tourism market. Domestic tourism industry operators have been complaining, forcing the Ministry of Transport Wang Cai to decide to take the lead in showing goodwill and allowing Taiwanese group tourists to travel to China. However, it remains to be seen whether this treatment is effective. After all, when will mainland tourists be able to fully travel to China? It is not Taiwan that has the final say in loosening restrictions and coming to Taiwan.
Perhaps, the impact of the travel ban should be observed at the level of cross-strait economic exchanges. Considering the objective gap and dependence between Taiwan and China in terms of economic size, Taiwanese tourists cannot play a sufficient role in China’s tourism industry to influence Taiwan. The role of policy.
But for Taiwan, the data on tourists coming to Taiwan in 2019 showed that out of the total 11.86 million tourists, 2.71 million were from mainland China, accounting for 22.8%. With such a huge gap, the Mainland Affairs Council tried to “account for “Etc. principle” to prompt China to change its policies is obviously difficult to implement from a practical perspective. The first victims before that are the tourism industry operators who were thrown into this one-sided and unfounded gamble.
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