Sun, Jul 13, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Affected industries experience boost in wake of SARS

CNA , TAIPEI

The aviation and tourism sectors have seen a tangible rebound in the wake of the SARS impact, although the overall effects of the outbreak on travel agencies remains to be seen, Council for Economic Planning and Devel-opment officials said yesterday.

Council officials have regularly assessed the information provided by the transportation, travel-agency, hotel and movie-theater sectors on their operations to determine the impact of SARS on the various sectors.

The council recently submitted a written report to the SARS Prevention and Relief Committee under the Executive Yuan to explain the situation in the various sectors, with the results of the report being released yesterday.

The officials said that the aviation industry has shown an obvious rebound, with the cancellation rate on international flights dropping to 20 percent in the first week of July, compared with a high of 50 percent in early June.

Although the number of passengers on international flights in the first week of July was down 33 percent compared with the same time period last year, it marked an improvement over May, when the figure was down 82 percent over the same period last year.

The officials also noted that the number of passengers on domestic flights in May was down 55 percent compared with the same period last year, but was up four percent in the first week of July over the previous year's figure.

Meanwhile the entertainment and tourism sectors have also seen a rebound. Ticket sales at Taipei theaters in June were up 57 percent over May, while the average occupancy rate at hotels in the second part of June was 51 percent as compared to 22 percent in May. At Taiwan's various scenic spots, the number of tourists decreased by 62 percent in May, but has shown a growth of 24 percent in June.

Council officials said that the number of travel agencies has remained steady, while the number of staff has continued to decrease, although the level of decrease is slowing down.

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