Fri, May 09, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Airlines say they are ready for influx of Chinese tourists

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The nation’s tourism and airline industries have the capacity to cope with the influx of tourists expected under the incoming government’s plan to open the country to more Chinese tourists in July, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.

In a report to the legislature’s Transportation Committee, the bureau said there are 146 travel agencies in Taiwan that are licensed to serve tour groups from China. Travel agencies that have been in business for at least five years will be allowed to join the service once they pay a deposit of NT$2 million (US$60,000), the bureau said.

In terms of hotel availability, the bureau said hotels around the country have a surplus of approximately 29,149 rooms per day, which will be enough to meet the expected demand.

The number of tour guides qualified to serve Chinese tourists totals 8,101 and there are 11,371 tour buses around the country, the bureau said.

The nation’s 23 theme parks have a total maximum capacity of 352,500 visitors per day, the bureau said. If there are 3,000 to 10,000 Chinese visitors per day, with each visiting two theme parks on average, which would total only 1.7 percent to 5.6 percent of the parks’ maximum capacity, the bureau said.

Meanwhile, the airline industry provided more than 7.42 million seats last year, with a surplus of 1.96 million seats, the bureau said.

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