Wed, Oct 10, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Travel agency stops Japan tours due to Diaoyutais dispute

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A Taiwanese travel agency yesterday announced that it will cancel all tour services to Japan and stop serving Japanese tourists due to the recent disputes with Tokyo over sovereignty of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台).

Shun Yi Travel said the decision was made after a thorough discussion by the company’s management yesterday morning, adding that it had previously planned to offer the Japanese tours at the Taipei International Travel Fair.

“We know the charm of Japan can help us earn substantial revenue, and we also know that people love using Japanese products because the Japanese pay attention to details. We know many, many good things about Japan,” the agency said in an online statement. “[However], since the Diaoyutai Islands sovereignty dispute began, our friendliness toward Japan has vanished ... We have decided to stop selling Japanese tour services and serving Japanese tourists. We hope everyone could support our cause and defend our territory in the most rational way possible.”

In response, the Tourism Bureau said the agency was the first and only one in Taiwan to boycott tour services related to Japan because of the spat.

Other travel agents were puzzled at Shun Yi’s action, since the travel agency mainly offers tours to Southeast Asia.

In related news, the bureau said it has recruited Taiwanese actress Ivy Chen (陳意涵) and South Korean actor Jo Jung-suk as its ambassadors to promote Taiwan as a tourist destination in South Korea.

Chen and Jo have shot a mini film for the bureau, which took them to scenic spots around the nation such as Jiufen (九份) and Yehliu Geopark.

Statistics from the bureau show that 242,902 South Korean tourists visited the nation last year, an 11.99 percent increase compared with 2010. The number of South Korean tourists visiting Taiwan between January and August has topped 171,385, a jump of 3.64 percent compared to the same period last year.

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