The Tourism Bureau said on Wednesday it would seek to determine the reasons behind the delay in the review process for Chinese tourists applying to visit Taiwan.
Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said a preliminary investigation showed that the problem mainly lies with the Chinese government.
“In China, application procedures generally take a long time to complete,” Lai said. “Applicants have to fill out an application form, which must then be approved by five different administrative agencies.”
Lai said the agencies included local provincial tourism bureaus, the Cross-Strait Tourism Association (海峽兩岸旅遊交流協會) and the Ministry of Public Security.
She said the bureau had yet to determine the average time taken to complete the application process and whether the procedures were designed specifically to review Chinese tourists who visit Taiwan.
Commenting on the number of Chinese tourists entering Taiwan last weekend, Lai said the government did not only count Chinese tourists arriving via the direct charter flights, but also included those arriving via Hong Kong and Macau.
Lai said there was no such thing as a blacklist that would bar some Taiwanese travel agencies from dealing with Chinese tourists.
“We have waited so many years for this to happen. Do you think we would be silly enough to make such a list?” she said.
The tourism bureau has authorized 180 travel agencies across the country to handle Chinese tourists. In China, only 33 travel agencies have received the green light to do so.
“The bottom line is whether Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan are satisfied with the quality of their travel,” she said.