Tue, Sep 15, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Tourism Bureau rejects tour bus videos demand

Staff writer, with CNA

The Tourism Bureau yesterday rejected a demand from a Chinese travel agency to ban videos with anti-Communist content on tour buses transporting Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan.

Any videos can be shown on tour buses as long as they have legal copyright and their content does not violate “good morals,” the bureau said.

It does not matter if the videos involve anti-Communist content, it added.

The issue came to the fore after the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) yesterday published a story about a Chinese tour group visiting Taiwan last month being shown a Britishproduced documentary about former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) while on a tour bus.

It is customary in Taiwan for tour bus drivers to show movies during trips.

According to an investigation by the Tourism Bureau, only one elderly member of the group was dissatisfied with the video, complaining that the representation of Mao in the documentary was different from what he believed it to be.

The Taiwanese guide consulted the other tour group members and was told that they wanted to continue watching the video.

After receiving the tourist’s complaint, the Chinese travel agency organizing the tour demanded that the Taiwanese travel agency stop showing anti-Communist documentaries on tour buses carrying Chinese tourists, the Liberty Times reported, adding that it also demanded that Taiwanese guides refrain from expressing points of view different from their Chinese clients.

The Tourism Bureau said it would ask Chinese tourism authorities to look into the incident and respect the pluralism and freedom of speech in Taiwan.

“Taiwan is a free and democratic society, and as long as the rights of others are not infringed upon, Chinese tourists should not only abide by Taiwan’s laws, but should also respect different opinions and ideologies,” the bureau said.

According to Tourism Bureau statistics, nearly 4 million Chinese visited Taiwan last year, by far the largest group among the nation’s 9 million visitors last year.

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