Tourism Bureau aims to lure more Chinese tourists


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau will hold promotional events in China and work with local government agencies to ease eligibility requirements for potential Chinese visitors in an effort to boost disappointing Chinese visitor arrival numbers.

“The measures result from the fact that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan has failed to meet expectations after the July opening,” Liu Hsi-lin, chief of the Tourism Bureau’s International Section, said Saturday.

Liu said many Chinese tourists have the wrong impression that visiting Taiwan is more expensive than visiting other Southeast Asian countries because the cost of tours to Taiwan are all-inclusive.

Trips to Taiwan, he said, do not require any extra fees after arriving here,unlike tours Chinese travelers take to other destinations.

To promote travel in Taiwan and educate potential customers, the bureau and a group of local travel agencies will hold tourism seminars in mid-October in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and Xiamen — the five cities currently served by nonstop weekend charter flights between Taiwan and China.

In November, 33 Chinese travel agencies and media will be invited to Taiwan to take part in the “Taipei Cross-strait Travel Exhibition,” Liu said. The visitors will also take a five- to seven-day trip around Taiwan to experience the beauty and culture of the island.

The Tourism Bureau will also work with local government agencies to ease restrictions Taiwan imposes on prospective Chinese tourists.

One possibility mentioned is to reconsider requiring applicants to provide an employment certificate, since senior citizens form an important segment of the tourism market.