The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–Local people will see large increases in travel costs if they join Europe-bound tourist groups in the summer season of July to September, with each member to face a rise of NT$3,000 to NT$10,000 from the same period of last year. This is higher than the fee for other outbound tourist routes, according to reference prices released yesterday by the Travel Quality Assurance Association (TQAA).

TQAA officials said that a four-member family will have to spend around NT$400,000 to join a 10-day tourist group to France, equivalent to the cost of buying a small car, based on the new reference prices.

The officials said summer is the peak season for locals to make trips to Europe. This, coupled with the hike in aviation fuel surcharges, higher flight fares and the upcoming London Olympic Games in July and August, has sharply pushed up the cost for people joining tourist groups to Europe.

TQAA’s data also showed that the South Korea-bound tourist group fee for each member will surge by NT$1,000 to NT$2,000 in the summer, due mainly to higher flight fares and aviation fuel taxes as well as the International Exposition Yeosu Korea 2012. By contrast, Japan-bound tourist group fees will remain the same as last summer as a result of the number of available flight seats increasing along with the liberalization of Taiwan-Japan aviation exchanges.

Meanwhile, the corresponding fee for tourist groups bound for the U.S. and Canada will be increased by NT$3,000-NT$8,000 and NT$5,000-NT$8,000, respectively.

The tourist fee for China-bound groups will be hiked by NT$1,000-NT$5,000 in the summer from last year, and that for tourist groups to Southeast Asia will be NT$2,000 higher than a year ago.

By contrast, the corresponding fee for tourist groups to Australia will be NT$1,000 to NT$3,000 lower than last year, due mainly to the additional flights operated by both China Airlines and EVA Airways in the summer.