TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese tourism development association said it was happy to see opposition political parties unite for the 2024 election after the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) and the Kuomintang (KMT) reached a cooperation agreement on Wednesday (Nov. 16).
High Quality of Travel Association Chair Ringo Lee (李奇嶽) said on Thursday he hopes the opposition ticket unseats the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), per Now News. He said that this reflects the views of many tourism and hospitality operators, who have been struggling under the current government.
Lee added that cross-strait tourism accounts for 40% of aviation industry revenue, and more than 30% of Taiwan’s tourism revenue. He criticized the DPP for allowing cross-strait relations to sour, which he attributed to cooling the tourism market.
Of Taiwan's presidential candidates, only KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) was invited to a tourism industry event that hosted around 8,000 people in October, Lee said. He said the decision was a rare politically motivated move by the industry, designed to express its distrust of the government.
Given the event’s attendance, the DPP snub can be seen as an expression of dissatisfaction from hotels, B&Bs, tour operators, and others, with the government's tourism policy, Lee said.
In September, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office blamed the DPP for what it said was continued opposition to cross-strait tourism. Taiwan’s transport minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said that Taiwan will lift its three-year ban on Taiwanese tourism to China in March 2024.