Local travel agencies yesterday painted a conservative outlook on the business opportunities that the opening up of the nation to Chinese tourists would bring, citing Beijing’s cap on the number of Chinese tourists allowed to visit Taiwan and a minimum spending requirement.
“Compared with trips to Europe, where tourists spend US$120 per night on average, several Chinese travel agencies have complained that our charges are too high,” Jack Lin (林健興), manager of the domestic tour department at Southeast Travel Service Co (東南旅行社), said yesterday.
The Tourism Bureau requires Chinese tourists to spend a minimum of US$80 per night, which would add up to US$560 for an eight days, seven nights tour.
However, Phoenix Tours International Inc (鳳凰旅行社) general manager Anthony Liao (廖文澄) said the minimum was acceptable.
The company offers three different pricing packages for a 10-day tour, ranging from US$800 to US$1,200.
Although the government has set a limit of 3,000 Chinese tourists per day, the Beijing government permits only 1,000 Chinese tourists to visit the nation per day.
Lion Travel Service Co (雄獅旅行社) said it was difficult to estimate the business opportunities that the Chinese tourists would bring because of the restrictions and the government’s “ever-changing” policy.
“Lion Travel Service is more conservative about the Chinese tourist market. We think that it will take at least another three months for the situation to become clearer,” said Roxy Luo (羅旭亭), a public relations official at Lion Travel Service.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said on Thursday that whether the launch of cross-strait charter flights would help boost the nation’s economy required “further observation.”
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