China travel ban should be lifted: industry

China travel ban should be lifted: industry

The representative said that the loss of 80% of Taiwan’s tourism business in China has caused harm to the industry, and the lifting of the ban will help cross-strait peace

  • Shan Shirley / Our reporter

A group of tourism professionals told a news conference hosted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday that the government should lift the ban on Chinese tour groups, ease restrictions on Chinese business travelers and negotiate with Beijing to resume cross-strait tourism.

The ban on travel to China since the end of the pandemic restrictions has prevented Taiwanese travel agencies from entering the Chinese market, said Zhang Guilin, chairman of the Taiwan Tourism Development Promotion Association.

“The government should also ease travel restrictions on Chinese business travelers,” he added.

Photo: Tien Yu-hua, Taipei Times

Huang Wenqing, president of the Taiwan Association of Travel Agents, said some groups were circumventing the ban by traveling alone and gathering at destinations.

Their rights as travelers would not be protected in case of travel-related disputes, he added.

“We ask the government to take into account our desire to resume travel to China,” Huang said, adding that a specific time frame would also help them arrange travel.

Yan Congyin, chairman of the International Association of Tourism Managers, said that 37% of members hold Chinese-speaking tour guide certificates.

Group tours are allowed in Hong Kong and Macau, but tourists prefer to visit the destinations individually, leaving Mandarin-speaking tour operators almost out of work, Yen said.

Ke Muzhou, vice president of the Taipei City Travel Agency Association, said that 80% of Chinese tourists come to Taiwan as tourists, which has played a supporting role in the tourism industry.

“We hope the government will consider our right to work and live. Resuming cross-strait tourism can maintain peace and protect Taiwan,” Ke said.

Vice Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council Zhan Zhihong said at a press conference that he agrees with the KMT’s call for the recovery of cross-strait tourism.

“They should also convey this appeal to Beijing, instead of just telling the Taiwan government what to do,” Jane said.

China has reopened its borders, but Chinese tourists are still not allowed to visit Taiwan, Jane said.

He added that cross-Strait exchanges can only be effective through bilateral engagement.

“We have allowed Chinese students to come and study in Taiwan, even though Beijing still prohibits them from coming,” he said.

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