Thu, May 15, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Employees excited over the prospect of Chinese tourists

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

An expected influx of Chinese tourists has already caught the imagination of local residents, with a new poll released yesterday showing that about 30 percent of Taiwanese employees were tempted to start new careers in tourism and related industries.

“Because of president-elect Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign commitment to open Taiwan to 3,000 Chinese tourists daily, job opportunities in the tourism and restaurant industries have increased by 6 percent — or 1,400 new openings — since March,” said David Chuang (莊思凌), chief operating officer of Mini Job, part of 104 Job Bank.

“Nearly 80 percent of respondents said tourists from China will have positive effects, including boosting Taiwan’s economy,” he said.

The poll conducted by Mini Job showed that 27 percent of employees in Taiwan were willing to change their jobs to take advantage of the potential business generated by Chinese tourists.

Another 12.1 percent of respondents said they would open their own businesses to capitalize on such an opportunity.

Among the respondents looking to change their jobs, 37.3 percent said they would like to find work in the tourism or leisure sectors, while another 33.2 percent showed interest in the food and catering industries, he said.

But Chuang warned that the poll results also showed that the job market in the service sector could be very competitive and suggested that those wishing to pursue the opportunity think clearly before taking action.

The transportation and retail sectors were also gearing up for this “gold rush,” Mini Job said.

“Among those sectors, more than 50 percent of companies showed a willingness to increase their manpower, “ Chuang said, citing another Mini Job survey of Taiwan’s business owners.

Asked which profession was in greatest demand to exploit the potential surge in Chinese arrivals, Chuang said that more than 40 percent of respondents said tour guides would be in high demand, with 13.9 percent citing entry-level service workers.

Results also showed 55.2 percent of respondents said Taiwan’s transportation infrastructure was “insufficient” for the projected 3,000 tourists, while 45 percent said tourism facilities and the cultural uniqueness of local tour attractions needed improvement.

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