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Taiwan's tour bus industry pleads with government to help it survive

Vehicle dispatch rate has dipped below 20% since mid-April

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Taiwan's tour bus industry pleads with government to help it survive

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Members of a national tour bus association gathered at Taiwan’s legislature for a press conference on Tuesday (May 10) seeking continued COVID relief from the government, saying the industry will not be able to survive on its own as outbreak-related woes drag on.

Thirty members of the National Joint Association of Bus for Tourists laid out five problems it faces that need government assistance as quickly as possible, CNA reported.

Association Chairman Alex Lu (魯孝亞) said during the press conference that the tour bus industry has arrived at a life-and-death point after suffering the economic impact of COVID-19 for more than two years. The entire industry has suffered great financial losses due to the low vehicle dispatch rate and not knowing when the pandemic will ease, he added.

He said he hoped the government would show care for the tour bus industry by reducing the fuel and license plate taxes for tour buses.

According to the industry's statistics, the vehicle dispatch rate has dipped to below 20% since mid-April, and seven or eight tour bus companies have shut down, Lu said, adding that he expected 20 to 30 more to halt operations if the COVID-19 relief loans cannot be extended.

Many representatives from local tour bus associations also spoke at the press conference as they sought a two-year deferment on COVID relief loan repayment and a continuation of subsidies for purchases of epidemic prevention materials, loss of business, and driver and staffer salaries.

Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Wu I-ding (吳怡玎), who showed up to show her support for the tour bus industry, said that whether the industry gets government support matters for the livelihood of more than 20,000 people who work in the tour bus industry and the more than 20,000 families they support. She said she hoped the government could help the industry survive.

Taiwan's tour bus industry pleads with government to help it survive
(CNA photo)