Travel Agent Association chairman Yao Ta-kuang (姚大光) criticized the agencies for complaining to the government, saying last year that this was a commercial matter and the agencies should pressure their Chinese counterparts to pay.
Yao compared the agencies’ complaining to running a marathon with a broken leg and saying their legs hurt, Yao said.
In response, Yang said the government was aware of the situation and planned to talk with Beijing about operating Chinese tour groups on a “pay first, travel later” basis on March 28. Yang said that both sides could choose a third party — either a bank or insurance company — that would hold the funds until the tour was completed, and then the money could be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, academics and agencies said that Chinese FITs were the best solution for improving the quality of tours because these sorts of travelers would not be bound by rigid group tour schedules and also are able to see the “real” Taiwan.
Delayed payment would not be an issue with individual travelers because they pay in cash and up front, agencies said, adding that increasing the number of such tourists would boost both the industry and the economy.