Wed, Jul 23, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Let market forces rule, agencies told

CROSS-STRAIT TOURS The Tourism Bureau has denied rumors that some Taiwanese agencies have been blacklisted from handling Chinese tourists

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Tourism Bureau has asked the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA) to inform the Cross-Strait Tourism Association (CSTA) of China that both sides need to abide by market mechanisms in managing cross-strait tours.

The two associations are semi-official groups that represent the tourism bureaus on each side of the Strait.

“To ensure a fair, just and transparent cross-strait tourism market, service operators are entitled to select whoever they see fit as business partners,” the bureau said in a statement yesterday. “This principle must be strictly adhered to so as to not interfere with development of the cross-strait market.”

The bureau denied rumors that some travel agencies had not gotten any Chinese tours because they were on a TSTA blacklist, and that only 18 local agencies were allowed to arrange tours for Chinese tourists.

“If they [domestic agencies] feel they are being unfairly treated, they can file a complaint and present evidence to the Tourism Bureau,” the statement said.

The bureau said it would closely monitor the market to avoid unfair competition among agencies.

The statement was issued after a story about the alleged blacklist in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) yesterday.

That story, however, said that the blacklist had been provided by the Travel Agent Association (TAA), a private organization of Taiwanese travel agencies.

The story said the TAA gave the Chinese agencies a list of preferred Taiwanese agencies for them to consider. The story, however, quoted TAA secretary-general Hsu Kao-ching (�?y) as denying any knowledge of a blacklist.

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