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Minister says Chinese tourists not expected back in Taiwan until next year

Wang Kwo-tsai says info received via 'private channels,' notes impact on industry

Taipei's Songshan International Airport. (Canva image)

Taipei's Songshan International Airport. (Canva image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s transport minister has said that after communicating through “private channels” he understands that Chinese tourists will not be visiting Taiwan until at least next year.

Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said on Monday (Oct. 16) that the lack of tourists from mainland China will have a great impact on Taiwan, and mentioned Hualien specifically, per Yahoo News. Wang said that Taiwan had shown goodwill and allowed Taiwanese tour groups to visit China, but this has not been reciprocated.

Kuomintang Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) asked Wang what the government is doing to make up for the shortage of tourists, and suggested increasing charter flights. Wang pointed to charter flights that bring visitors from Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea to Hualien.

Fu said the number of flights has been only a fraction of what they once were. The numbers are far behind what they were in 2016, he said.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council lifted a ban on tourists going to and from China in August. The council said the resumption of cross-strait tourism depends on the mainland’s response.