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Chinese tour groups cancel visits over student protests

TAIPEI -- Chinese public organizations have canceled almost all of their scheduled group visits to Taiwan amid student-led protests against a controversial trade-in-services agreement with China, an industry insider said recently.

The student movement has also had a minor impact on independent Chinese travelers' plans to visit Taiwan but has shown no signs of affecting travel from other countries or regions, said Roget Hsu, secretary-general of the Travel Agent Association of R.O.C., Taiwan.

Hsu did not provide an exact time frame for the cancellations or an estimate of the number of Chinese travelers affected.

He said that social disorder or political turbulence in any country can adversely affect its tourism to a certain degree, and he hoped that similar situations would not erupt again in Taiwan.

The student movement ended peacefully on April 10, enabling the country to return to normal and its tourism sector to continue growing, Hsu said.

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