Thu, Mar 10, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Amendment to tourism legislation wins initial backing

CONVENIENT TRAVEL:A proposal to allow plane tickets to be bought at convenience stores found favor with Transportation Committee lawmakers

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

People could soon be able to purchase airplane and boat tickets at chain convenience stores nationwide after lawmakers yesterday gave preliminary approval to an amendment to the Act for the Development of Tourism (發展觀光條例).

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Ken-te (陳根德), who presided over a meeting of the Transportation Committee, said the amendment needed no further negotiation between the two main political parties.

“We hope the bill can be passed quickly this legislative session,” Chen said, adding that if passed, the measure could be implemented within a month.

UNI AIR

The amendment was proposed by KMT Legislator Tsao Erh-chang (曹爾忠) and 21 other lawmakers after Uni Air’s announcement in September last year that people could purchase the plane tickets at convenience stores triggered a controversy in the travel industry.

The Travel Agent Association of ROC, Taiwan, protested the airline’s move, saying the law did not allow convenience stores to sell plane tickets.

Article 27 of the Act stipulates that businesses other than travel agencies may not undertake the operations of a travel agency.

However, the resale of land transportation tickets necessary for daily traffic needs is not subject to the act’s restrictions.

EXPANDING SERVICES

Tsao’s amendment would expand the scope of ticket sales from land transportation to include air and sea transportation, thereby adding to the quickly growing number of services that can be purchased at convenience stores nationwide.

In February last year, Family Mart announced that tickets for the high-speed rail could be bought at its outlets nationwide, either by using the ticket kiosks in the stores or by making reservations online and paying them at the store.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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