Government’s new Chinese tourist policy raises concerns

By J.Fan

The Tourism Bureau announced at the last minute that the limit of Chinese tourists a day will be increased to 8,000. However, earlier this year, the authorities said they would not increase the number of Chinese tourists in order to maintain the quality of tourism.

 

The Tourism Bureau announced that the number of Chinese tourists will increase from 5,000 per day to 8,000 per day from November 21 to the end of February 2016. This announcement attracts criticism from the public and many experts view it as a political strategy of the People’s Republic of China to influence Taiwan’s policies and elections.

 

CEO of Sunrise Travel Service Kuo Mu-zhou said that China actually plans to limit the number of Chinese tourists who will come to Taiwan. Even if Taiwan plans to increase the limit of Chinese tourists, the Chinese government can still control the number of tourists; hence, the gain is unpredictable. “The number of Chinese tourists has shrunk for the third season this year. As the presidential election is approaching, it is expected the number of Chinese tourists in the fourth season might be half of the third season or even less,” said Kuo.

 

A professor of tourism department of Shih Hsin University believes the Tourism Bureau increases the maximum number of Chinese tourist to accomplish the goal of its policy. Associate professor of the tourism department of Providence University Huang zheng-tsung said it is a political strategy to increase the number of Chinese tourists. There were news about China limiting the number of Chinese tourists as Taiwan’s presidential election approaches thus creating worries within the tourism industry. Although the Tourism Bureau tries to increase the number of Chinese tourists, the Chinese government still holds the power. Huang expressed his concerns over the abrupt change in government policy for it is not healthy for the development of the tourism industry in Taiwan, according to the Liberty Times reports.

 

The Bureau of Tourism explained that the policy is modified according to previous experiences for May, September and December are peak seasons for Chinese tourists.

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