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Travelers checking in at Taipei Songshan Airport.  (CNA photo)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the government announced the abolition of the mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for arriving travelers from Oct. 13, travel agencies said Thursday (Sept. 22) that the sector would need six months to one year to return to the levels seen before the pandemic.
Up to 2019, Taiwan saw 11 million visitors per year. On Thursday, the Cabinet announced several measures favoring the return of international travel, including the ending of the three-day mandatory quarantine, ending the ban on visiting tour groups, and the restoration of visa waivers.
While the travel sector welcomed the measures as the “removal of a curse,” experts still warned that Taiwan might need up to a year to see the number of visitors return to levels reached before the pandemic.
During the past three years, travel agencies have seen their business limited to the sale of airline tickets and programs for independent travelers, but now that groups are allowed to enter the country, the companies will be able to return to designing and organizing more expanded itineraries, CNA reported.
Because some companies had gone out of business during the pandemic, an immediate return to normality would be impossible, travel agents predicted. By the end of the year, business would be back to a level between 50% and 60%, but a full recovery would take more time.
Outbound travel packages would focus on themes including skiing, hot springs, New Year’s Eve, and the Lunar New Year, with itineraries and programs already completed. According to a survey by booking platform AsiaYo, Taiwanese travelers were most interested in visiting Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
Updated : 2022-10-30 06:19 GMT+08:00
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