Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung today announced a plan to promote domestic tourism to the tune of NT$3.6 billion. It includes subsidies that are aimed at making up for the 700,000 Chinese visitors that will no longer be coming to Taiwan after Beijing suspended the issuing of individual travel permits to Taiwan today.China’s announcement that no more individual travel permits to Taiwan would be issued starting today had many Chinese travelers scrambling to apply for one yesterday. Over the next half year 700,000 fewer Chinese visitors are expected to arrive in Taiwan, resulting in losses of around NT$4 billion for Taiwan’s tourism industry.Liu Chih-chiangTravel operatorNow we have to make adjustments to transportation, meals, accommodation and advance payments. On this front it will have a big impact on us. If the same thing happens to tour groups, the setback will be twofold or even bigger.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentI want to tell Beijing authorities that China’s usage of tourism as a political tool will only incite aversion in Taiwan’s people. Tourism shouldn’t be politicized. Politicized tourism will not lead to stable development. President Tsai Ing-wen called on Beijing to not politicize tourism. Meanwhile, the transportation ministry is planning to offset damage with a NT$3.6 billion plan to boost domestic tourism. Lin Chia-lungTransportation ministerUpgrades to tourism infrastructure and service quality will simultaneously be implemented. We believe that this drop in visitor numbers can be compensated with international travelers.The ministry is rolling out a new set of domestic travel subsidies starting September, including lodging subsidies and discounted theme park tickets. The plan is expected to generate NT$25.6 billion in the tourism sector.
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