The government would consider adjusting the daily cap on tourists to China after a ban on group travel to the nation is lifted next year if demand exceeds expectations, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday.
The ministry earlier this month announced that the ban on group tours to China would be lifted on March 1 and it told Taiwanese travel agencies they could begin organizing tours to China, with the earliest departure to be March 1.
However, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Monday said that the number of Taiwanese tourists to China would be capped at 2,000 per day at the initial stage, the same cap as would apply to Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan.
“Travel agencies in Taiwan have already begun selling tours to China leaving in March and afterward, as the Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced that the group travel ban would be lifted. More than 10,000 Taiwanese have paid a deposit or booked flights,” Travel Agent Association spokesperson Ringo Lee (李奇嶽) said in a video on Tuesday.
“However, the MAC insisted that Taiwanese tourists be capped at 2,000 per day,” Lee said. “This has shocked many travel agents, who are utterly confused by the government’s changing policy. Many travel agents could end up having disputes with their customers.”
Ninety percent of Taiwan’s 4,000 travel agencies have organized tours to China, he said.
They are asking how the daily quota would be fairly distributed among travel agencies, he added.
No travel agencies have limited how many spots they offer since the Martial Law period, Lee said.
The government should rethink its policy, he said.
Wang told reporters in New Taipei City that travel agencies need not worry and should proceed with their preparations for tours to China.
“What the MAC was saying was that the policy should be implemented in phases, as there might not be many tourists in the beginning,” Wang said.
“However, an adjustment would be necessary if there is strong demand for tours to China. Details would be announced before the Lunar New Year holiday next year,” he said.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with