More Chinese tourists apply to visit Taiwan
CNATAIPEI -- The number of Chinese tourists applying to visit Taiwan has risen significantly since Sept. 10 because of major holidays on the horizon and a new tourism law in China that could make tours more expensive, Taiwan immigration officials said Monday.
September 17, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
From Sept. 10-15, an average of more than 8,000 Chinese applied per day to visit Taiwan in groups, with applications peaking at nearly 18,000 on Sept. 13, Shih Tsun-ping, a section chief with the National Immigration Agency (NIA), told CNA.
Those figures are much higher than the roughly 5,000-7,000 applications received per day in the recent past, Shih said.
The number of individual Chinese travelers applying to visit Taiwan also rose, from an average of 2,000-3,000 per day to between 4,000 and 5,000 on Sept. 13 and 14, he said.
Shih attributed the spike in the numbers to two upcoming holidays in China — the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday from Sept. 19-21 and the National Day break from Oct. 1-7 — and China's plan to enforce a new tourism law beginning Oct. 1.
The law seeks to protect the rights of tourists by banning practices such as “zero-or negative-fare tours” in China, which attract travelers with low prices and then force them to shop during the tours.
Travel agents believe the new restrictions, which will apply to tours sold in China for both domestic and overseas travel, will force them to increase the prices of the tours they offer, possibly reducing demand.
That prompted them to file applications before the new law goes into effect, the NIA said.
The agency urged them and individual travelers to submit their applications early so that their travel schedules are not affected by the recent inflow of applications.
The NIA processes a maximum of 7,300 entry permits per day for Chinese traveling in groups and 2,920 per day for Chinese travelers visiting Taiwan on their own.