Sun, Dec 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ministry to expand scope of subsidies for chartered flights

TOURISM BOOST:The subsidies include flights from Japan, Russia and South Korea, to counter a drop in the number of travelers from China

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Transportation and Communication Friday announced that it would widen the scope of subsidies for charter flights arriving in Taiwan.

The move is part of government efforts to boost local tourism as tourist numbers from China fall.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) has instructed that charter flights arriving at Taiwan’s airports — apart from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) — from Japan, Russia and South Korea, as well as Hong Kong and Macau, would be granted subsidies in proportion to their load factors, if those factors are from 50 percent to 70 percent, the ministry said.

In line with existing regulations, each charter flight with more than 140 seats and at least 100 tourists from Japan and South Korea is eligible for a subsidy of US$13,813 and US$7,998 respectively, it said.

Meanwhile, charter flights from Southeast Asian countries — excluding the Philippines — and the Russian Far East are eligible for a subsidy of US$8,000, while those from other parts of the world, except China, can receive US$5,000, the ministry said.

Subsidies for those with a load factor of more than 70 percent would remain the same, it added.

The measure was adjusted to encourage local travel agencies to organize more charter flights to Taiwan, after they complained about receiving “zero” subsidies even if charter flights they organized had a load factor of 50 to 70 percent, ministry officials said.

It is also aimed at filling the gap left by the drop in the number of tourists from China, after Beijing in August imposed restrictions on individual travelers to Taiwan, they said.

The new measure is expected to take effect later this month, they said.

The number of tourist arrivals from China dropped to 114,000 in October — a 52.5 percent annual decline, Tourism Bureau data showed.

Another measure is also to be implemented that would grant local travel agencies NT$1,000 for every foreign tourist who arrives in Taiwan — except those entering through Songshan and Taoyuan airports — aboard their charter flights and who stay in the country for at least six nights before June 30 next year.

Travel agencies that organize charter flights that fly at least 50 foreign tourists on each trip to Hengchun Airport in Pingtung County would also be eligible for a subsidy of NT$600 for each foreign tourist they bring in.

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