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May 24, 2017

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Tour operators to reduce shopping itineraries for mainlander groups

TAIPEI--Representatives of the local tourism sector on Thursday agreed to further reduce shopping itineraries offered to Chinese tour groups in a bid to increase the quality of travel in Taiwan.

Chinese tour groups are allowed to be brought on seven shopping trips during an eight-day package, but that will be reduced to just six stops for shopping beginning Oct. 1, said the Travel Agent Association of the Republic of China.

The consensus between the tourism industry and the Tourism Bureau is aimed at promoting Taiwan as a high-quality destination, according to association Secretary-General Roget Hsu.

Tour operators want fees paid by Chinese tourists to catch up with market prices, as many agencies have offered lower priced packages to lure clients and made up the difference with commissions from sales at designated stores to which they bring the visitors.

While some Chinese tourists welcome the opportunity to shop for souvenirs, others complain they do not have enough time for sightseeing because they spend too much time at shopping stops.

It is estimated that for each store struck from itineraries, tourism operators are likely to lose out on US$15-US$20 per person per day.

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