Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Tourism Bureau chief Janice Lai heads for China

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The nation’s top tourism official left for China yesterday on a promotional tour to attract Chinese tourists.

Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) is in China in her capacity as chairwoman of the nonprofit Taiwan Tourism Association.

Accompanied by executives of more than 100 travel agencies around Taiwan, Lai is scheduled to spend two days in Beijing and Nanjing to meet national and local Chinese tourism authorities.

Addressing reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Lai said she hoped Taiwan could attract as many as 20,000 Chinese tourists every month after the number of cross-strait weekend charter flights and destinations increase later this year.

In Beijing, Lai is expected to meet her Chinese counterpart, National Tourism Administration Director Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉), for consultations on problems faced by the two sides on tourism across the Taiwan Strait.

Lai and her group are also scheduled to hold tourism workshops in Beijing and Nanjing to discuss with Chinese officials and travel agency operators issues that appear to be hampering the growth of Chinese tourists to Taiwan.

Other issues on the agenda include tour application procedures, flight destinations, seats, pricing and the quality of the packages, Lai said.

Lai said that Taiwan has not requested that potential Chinese tourists pay a guarantee of 50,000 yuan (US$7,300) in advance, but that “it may be a requirement of Chinese travel agency operators.”

Taiwan has also simplified some procedures for certain groups to facilitate the number of Chinese tourists, she said.

These measures affect Chinese civil servants, students and retired public officials, who can apply for sightseeing tours in Taiwan using photocopies of their ID and travel documents, she said.

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