Thu, Jun 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

CAL Moscow flights might resume

RUSSIAN CONNECTION:Hochen Tan and foreign officials discussed the resumption of charter flights to Moscow and attracting more cruise ships, among other issues

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The nation could resume direct charter flights to Moscow following the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism in Vietnam this week, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.

Minister of Transport and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) represented the nation at the forum, which started in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam on Sunday and ended yesterday.

During the forum, Hochen met with Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation representative Alexander Basov, who is in charge of the Southeast Asian market.

During the meeting, Basov pointed out problems that had occurred in Russia with the increase in Chinese tourists, the ministry said.

Basov said that rise of Chinese tourists had a very limited effect on the local economy, as Chinese tourists mostly come on shopping tours and Chinese tour agencies tend to control every part of tour arrangements, it said.

Russia has in recent years begun to turn to tourists from Southeast Asia, and Taiwan is one of the countries it focuses on in the Asia, the ministry quoted Basov as saying.

Basov said most important task at the moment was to resume the direct flight service between Russia and Taiwan, the ministry said.

Hochen said there used be charter flights between Taoyuan and Moscow in the summer and both countries could work to resume charter flight services first.

An aviation pact between Taiwan and Russia was signed in 2013, Civil Aeronautics Administration information showed.

In 2014, China Airlines and OJSC Transaero Airlines launched a code-share flight between Taoyuan and Moscow, which lasted from July 9 to Sept. 11 that year. However, the partnership ended as Transaero ceased operations in 2015.

Currently, there are no direct flights between Taiwan and Russia.

During the summit, Hochen also accepted requests for interviews from reporters from Vietnam Television, the Vietnam News Agency and other local media.

In an interview he said he hoped to learn about effective measures to develop sustainable tourism in Taiwan from other APEC nations.

Taiwan’s tourism sector should slow down and rethink its strategies to develop sustainable tours, and international tourists should slow down and enjoy in-depth, quality tours when they travel in Taiwan, Hochen said.

The minister said that he was impressed by the efforts of Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province in preserving its culture, adding it could be used as example of how young people can return to their hometowns and develop roots again.

In addition to Russian and Vietnamese officials, Hochen also met with representatives from Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Peru, South Korea and the Philippines.

Hochen said his meeting with Philippine Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon focused on new cruise ship tours that might be introduced by Hong-Kong based Star Cruise, particularly between Taiwan and the nations within the Asia Cruise Cooperation.

The two also talked about the possibility of jointly promoting Taiwan and Philippine tour destinations in the long-distance cruise market, he added.

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