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Bus crash may bring changes to policies on Chinese tourists

Bus crash may bring changes to policies on Chinese tourists

Relatives of injured and deceased Chinese tourists arrived in Taiwan last night to assist in handling the aftermath of a bus accident which took 5 lives of Chinese tourists and injured 15 Monday. While relatives mourned the dead and nursed the wounded, Taiwan officials considered how to prevent a similar tragedy from occuring in the future.
According to the Mainland Affairs Council, a 26-member delegation consisting of 19 family relatives of the dead and injured tourists along with five Chinese medical staff and two Chinese officials, arrived in Nantou last night. The bodies of the dead were taken to a Nantou morgue to await identification by family members.
According to the MAC, another 20 Chinese tourists from the same tour group left Taiwan for China via Hong Kong yesterday. As some members lost their travel documents in the crash, Tourism Bureau officials were on hand to help them when they arrived in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Before leaving Taiwan, group leader Liu Wan-fu expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by Taiwan governmental agencies.
According to the Tourism bureau, the injured tourists decided not to file a lawsuit against the tourist agency. The bureau yesterday gave an NT$50,000 fine to the tourist agency due to its negligence in taking care of the tourists.
The accident happened on Monday morning when the bus skidded off the New Central Taiwan Cross-Island Highway and fell into a 10-meter-deep valley.
Meanwhile, the accident has drawn substantial concern regarding Chinese tourists traveling to Taiwan. Currently Chinese people are not allowed to travel to Taiwan under Chinese law, so most Chinese tourists travel to Taiwan via the third countries.
According to a local Chinese language newspaper, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of the Interior are likely to push forward announcing the amendatory acts of the Regulations Governing the People of the Mainland Area Engaging in Sightseeing Activities in Taiwan, a by-law of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, with amendments going into effect as soon as possible to protect the rights of Chinese tourists traveling to Taiwan. With the amendments in effect, all tourist agencies in Taiwan would have to sign a contract promising to provide quality services to Chinese tourists. Violators of the contract would lose the privilege of being able to work with Chinese tourists.
The services are divided into three levels based on tour fees: US$80, US$100, and US$120 per person per day. The US$120 tour fee ensures Chinese tourists to stay in five-star hotels, have dining fees of NT$ 500 per person, and the tourists will not be forced to go on unwillingly shopping trips. The US$80 tour fee promises that tourists will stay in three-star hotels with dining fees of NT$ 250 per person.
The amendments were scheduled to be put into effect after the MAC has reached a consensus with Mainland China to open bilateral tourism across the Taiwan Strait. The MAC said it is optimistic that by the end of the year, cross-strait tourists can come and go freely and legally.


Updated : 2021-03-02 01:10 GMT+08:00