Chinese travel ban unable to destroy Taiwan tourism sector: CIER

Travel sector has transformed itself since 2016 drop in Chinese arrivals

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Tourists arriving in Taiwan.

Tourists arriving in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The ban on Chinese individual travelers visiting Taiwan will be unable to destroy the island’s hospitality and restaurant sector, the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, 中經院) said Thursday (August 1), the day the ban went into effect.

The Chinese government’s decision was widely seen as a measure designed to punish Taiwan for its support for anti-extradition bill protesters in Hong Kong and to influence the campaign for the January 2020 presidential elections.

Despite first impressions, the Chinese measure was likely to be less effective than expected, especially compared to the period 2016-2017, when the number of Chinese visitors dropped by half, the CIER think tank said.

Because the travel sector had already taken the necessary measures to recover from the blow, the new measures would not have such a deep impact as Beijing might think, the China Times reported.

Tour operators would not be caught off guard in the middle of major investments to purchase large buses as even tour groups, which will still be allowed to travel to Taiwan, have become much smaller than before.

Economic activity indexes related to tourism and services had also shown continuous expansion, indicating a positive development for the high season, CIER said.

The government has condemned China’s unilateral action taken without prior consultation, while also announcing a NT$3.6-billion package for the promotion of domestic travel during the final quarter of the year.