Few international tour operators have shown interest in scouting potential tour routes in Taiwan due to Taiwan’s COVID-19 quarantine measures, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.
The agency made the statement after a group of 25 Japanese tour operators on Sunday arrived to explore scenic attractions in Taiwan. It was the first tour-scouting group to visit the nation since the government imposed tight border controls in 2020.
The tour operators, who were invited by the bureau, received special permission from the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to be exempted from the three days of quarantine and four days of self-health management that applies to most arrivals, said Huang Shi-fang (黃勢芳), head of the bureau’s International Tour Division.
Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Taipei Times
Asked whether other foreign groups are expected later this year, he said that despite inviting tour operators from other countries, few have expressed interest in exploring Taiwan as a tourist destination due to the country’s quarantine policy.
“We requested a quarantine-free entry because Japan is one of our source nations for inbound tourists,” Huang said, adding that should “any other target nation show interest, we will submit disease-prevention plans to the CECC for them.”
The bureau is revising disease prevention guidelines for a group of South Korean journalists who last week expressed interest in reporting on tours in Taiwan, Huang said, adding that the bureau is reaching out to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asian nations included in the government’s New Southbound Policy.
“The tour this time is to show the group from Japan that domestic tours in Taiwan are alive and well. The tour’s itinerary cannot be too diverse because of the need to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak,” Huang said.
The group yesterday visited the Yehliu Geopark (野柳公園) and Jingtong Sky Lantern Hall in New Taipei City, as well as the Chengbin Fishing Port in Keelung. While in Keelung, the group also specifically requested to visit the old site of Wufu store, which was previously owned by the great-grandfather of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Group members are today to visit a duty-free shopping center in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) where tourists from Japan can go shopping and view the Taipei 101 building from a double-decker bus.
This afternoon, they are to discuss potential business opportunities with local travel agencies before leaving early tomorrow morning.
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