Fri, Mar 18, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Japan calamity takes toll on tourism

Staff Writer, with CNA

The recent multiple disasters in Japan have taken a toll on Taiwan’s tourism industry as more than 10,000 Japanese citizens have canceled their travel plans for Taiwan, Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said yesterday.

Citing initial statistics provided by major local travel agencies, Lai told lawmakers at a legislative hearing that about 12,000 -Japanese tourists who had booked a visit to Taiwan before the end of May had scrapped their travel plans.

The Tourism Bureau had originally projected 6.5 million inbound tourists this year, Lai said. Taiwan recorded 5.567 million tourist arrivals last year, with Japan being the second largest source after China.

As of yesterday, about 30 -percent of hotel rooms reserved by Japanese tour groups or -independent tourists had been canceled, Lai said.

The Tourism Bureau will adjust its promotions by setting its sights on vacationers from South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asian countries, she said.

Meanwhile, Lai said, the bureau had asked travel agencies and air carriers to ease their refund policies in cases where Taiwan residents were seeking to cancel trips to Japan.

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