Forty-eight travel agencies had filed for temporary closure or corporate dissolution as of last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Bureau statistics showed yesterday.
Eighteen filed for temporary closure and 30 for dissolution, compared with the 18 agencies and 25 firms that did so respectively, for the whole of last year.
In 2018, eight agencies filed for temporary closure and 49 for dissolution, bureau statistics showed.
The government has launched bailout packages, injecting more than NT$10 billion (US$3238.56 million) into the tourism sector, but the bureau late last month said that it would continue travel restrictions imposed earlier this year banning foreign tourists from visiting Taiwan and Taiwanese from going abroad, as part of the nation’s COVID-19 prevention efforts.
SET Tour yesterday said that it had decided not to renew the leases on its 20 stores in northern Taiwan after they expire later this year, and employees at those sites would be transferred to other stores.
Many travel agents have submitted their resignations due to the reduced sales opportunities this year, and it was not planning on hiring new staff, it said.
While it had initially closed all of its stores on weekend to help reduce costs during the pandemic, one-third of the stores have resumed weekend services since May, when the domestic tourism market began picking up, the company said.
Many travel agencies closed their stores during the disease-prevention period, but customers now appear to prefer placing orders online anyway, Life Tour said.
It has closed three of its 23 stores nationwide, it said.
Eight out ezTravel’s 10 stores in Taiwan have been shut, but the company said that 90 percent of its products are sold online, and it aims to fully develop its digital services.
Meanwhile, the ratio of revenue from domestic and overseas tour packages is usually two to eight, so even though the local tourism market has begun to recover, the loss of overseas travel business remains substantial, one travel agent said on condition of anonymity.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
A senior US senator on Monday questioned the willingness of some US allies to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) expects the US and Japan to respond in a war in the Taiwan Strait, he was “a little less confident what our other allies would do,” US Senator John Cornyn said. Australia and New Zealand have voiced support for Taiwan, but it “is a far cry from committing troops to repel an invasion,” Cornyn said during a discussion on China, Russia and the state of US military readiness at a forum hosted
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