A Hong Kong mission made up of tourism industry executives and a Legislative Council member arrived in Taipei yesterday aiming to rekindle tourism exchanges with Taiwan.
The 40-member mission, headed by Jackie Wong (王春寶), chairman of the International Chinese Tourist Association, and Legislative Council member Howard Yeung (楊孝華), arrived to promote bilateral tourism exchanges at a time when the tourism industries of Hong Kong and Taiwan, which have been hardest hit by SARS, are beginning to pick up steam.
Other members of the Hong Kong mission include executives and legal consultants of the territory's major travel agencies, according to Wong.
Wong expressed the dissatisfaction of the Hong Kong tourism industry executives upon arrival at CKS International Airport with Taiwan's failure to resume the granting of landing visas to visitors from Hong Kong.
Wong said Taipei's delay in resuming the landing visa policy for Hong Kong visitors has been a negative factor barring Hong Kong travel groups, pointing out that originally, more than 100 executives from the territory's travel industry were scheduled to join his mission but that some 60 withdrew due to the policy of not issuing visas to them upon landing.
Wang Chun-pao, director of the Republic of China Tourism Bureau, Hong Kong Office, accompanied the mission from Hong Kong.
According to Wong, Wang has been very resourceful and instrumental in efforts to bolster bilateral tourism exchanges since assuming his post.
Wang was scheduled to join Wong, Yeoung and the Hong Kong mission at a workshop yesterday at the Far Eastern Hotel to voice their opinions on ways to reinvigorate bilateral tourism exchanges in the post-SARS era.
A score of executives from Taiwan's tourism industry are also expected to attend the workshop.