Scandal over serving of old food to mainlanders damages tourism: official
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The alleged practice of a restaurant in Taitung of selling recycled leftover food to mainland Chinese tourists has undermined perceptions of the local tourism industry, a ranking Taiwan tourism official stationed in Shanghai lamented yesterday.
January 11, 2013, 12:18 am TWN
Lee Jia-bin, director of the Shanghai branch office of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTC), made the remark in response to the undesirable alleged practice by BaiShaWan Restaurant in Taimali Township of Taitung County.
The scandal, revealed by an ex-employee of the restaurant, has not only tarnished the image of the restaurant, but has also prompted inbound Chinese tourist groups to cancel their orders for meals from the establishment.
“Although this is just an individual case, it has undermined the confidence of Chinese tourists in the quality of the tourism services in Taiwan,” Lee said.
Lee said his office has taken the initiative to relay the scandal information to organizers of Taiwan-bound Chinese tourist groups. “Mainland Chinese tourists will not patronize the problem restaurant again until after thorough improvements are made,” he stressed.
Lee continued that a large number of Chinese tourists have arranged to make “rush tours”in Taiwan at the lowest cost and in the shortest amount of time. This, however, has led to a decline in tour quality.
To counter, the Shanghai branch office of the TSTC and some Taiwanese travel agencies and airlines jointly hosted a presentation in Hangzhou in late 2012, introducing six quality tourism routes in Taiwan and offering quality assurances on accommodation, meals, scenic spots, transportation and shopping, according to Lee.
Mainland Chinese travel agencies attending the presentation responded positively to the quality tourism packages offered by Taiwan travel agencies and airlines, indicating that they have shown high regard for the nation's tourism quality.
According to statistics compiled by the TSTA, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan on a group basis has amounted to 4.77 million from July of 2008 to mid-December of 2012.
The TSTA estimated the total annual number of tourist arrivals from mainland China will have reached 1.8 million in 2012, representing a sharp increase of 47.87 percent over 2011.