Taiwan-mainland China rift affects Taiwan tourism

Published on : Sunday, October 23, 2016

taiwan-tourismThe rift between Taiwan and China over national identity issue has had a detrimental picture on Taiwan’s tourism industry. Mainland tourism has dropped 20% since June, weeks after President Tsai Ing-wen took power and declined to endorse the notion that Taiwan and the mainland are part of one united China.


The decline is “mostly due to the mainland’s political interference and restriction on mainland tourists visiting Taiwan,” said Chiu Chui-cheng, spokesman of the Mainland Affairs Council, the agency that handles policies with China.


The blame game is on with both sides accusing each other of the fall out effect- Taiwanese officials accusing a heavy-handed mainland government of blocking travel and Beijing administrators slamming the island’s leaders for making tourists feel unwelcome.


Several Chinese travel agencies cited a decrease but did not attribute it to government intervention.


Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang, at a news conference last month, linked the tourism decline to the Taiwanese government’s refusal to support a tacit agreement that only one China exists, albeit with different interpretations. Beijing refers to this as the 1992 Consensus.


Taiwan’s Central Bank governor late last month called falling tourism a risk to economic growth.


According to the Chinese government, Mainland visitors to Taiwan reached a record high last year, making up about 40% of tourists to the island. And yet Chinese group travel during the holiday’s first four days dropped 56% from last year, according to the island’s National Immigration Agency.


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