Tue, Jul 19, 2011 - Page 11 News List

FIT impact little on job market: poll

Staff Writer, with CNA

Although the government has touted revenues from visits by Chinese free independent travelers (FIT) as a boon for the economy, a survey shows that the program has had little impact on the job market.

In a recent survey by the online job bank 1111, only 13 percent of companies said they were hiring to meet market demand from Chinese FITs.

About 79 percent of the companies in the service sector plan to recruit, but most would have done so regardless of how many Chinese tourists were allowed to travel in Taiwan on their own.

Among the companies that have plans to hire, 45.6 percent said they were filling existing vacancies, while 23.5 percent were doing so as part of their regular hiring cycle.

Since Taiwan opened its doors to Chinese independent tourists on June 28, the survey said only 17 percent of the companies that expect business to grow have planned additional promotional events, launched advertisements and trained special staff to serve individual travelers.

In the run-up to the program’s launch, the government promoted the Chinese FIT program by hitting the airwaves on historical tourism revenues.

The Tourism Bureau said that Chinese tourists, who have been coming to Taiwan in group tours since 2008, have brought in revenues of up to US$3 billion so far.

However, 1111’s survey seems to suggest that most businesses do not expect to enjoy substantial benefits from the FIT program.

Only 17 percent of businesses expected better performances as a result of the FIT program; 80 percent said their business would not be affected; and 2.1 percent said their revenue would drop.

Overall, the labor market was better than last year.

Charlene Chang (張旭嵐), the job bank’s spokeswoman, said the number of job openings last month increased by 7.72 percent from a year ago.

Among the new vacancies, 24.5 percent were from the service and retail industries — up 3.5 percentage points from last year.

The survey, with valid responses from 606 companies, was conducted between June 30 and Wednesday last week. Companies were allowed to choose multiple answers regarding why they planned to hire.

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