Taipei, May 31 (CNA) Taiwan’s tourism sector is planning to recruit new workers in the near future in anticipation that the country’s border restrictions will be eased or lifted in the second half of the year to help pull the sector out of its extended doldrums.
Taiwan has had among the strictest border restrictions of any economy in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a ban on foreign tourists that remains in place and a strict 14-day quarantine for all overseas arrivals from March 2020 to March 2022.
That has led to massive drop-off in overseas arrivals, from 11.86 million in 2019 to only 140,479 in 2021, hurting travel companies catering to international travel.
With the quarantine period for overseas arrivals reduced to 10 days in March and to seven days earlier in May, there has been some hope of an opening later this year, including at companies like Lion Travel Service, one of Taiwan’s biggest travel agencies.
It said Tuesday it plans to bring its workforce back to pre-pandemic levels and will recruit 500 people for its marketing, management, digital technology, and product development departments.
The company said new recruits will be hired to work in Taipei, Taichung, Chiayi, Kaohsiung, Pingtung and Taitung, and they will also have the opportunity to work in its overseas offices in the Asia-Pacific region and North America.
Lion Travel currently employs around 1,800 people, and has overseas offices in Japan, Thailand, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and Hong Kong, company spokeswoman Lai Yi-ching (賴一青) said, and a new branch in South Korea is in the works.
Meanwhile, Cathay Hospitality Management (CHM), which operates several hotels in Taiwan such as Madison Taipei and Hotel Cozzi, has also announced plans to hire more people.
CHM said recently it could hire about 100 new employees, with openings in the concierge, room services and kitchen catering areas.
The InterContinental Kaohsiung, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), also announced a new recruitment drive in May.
Lo Chia-chi (羅嘉麒), the hotel’s general manager, said its new hires will work at its soon-to-open Hotel Indigo Alishan in Chiayi County as well as at InterContinental hotels in Taichung and Taipei.
(By Chiang Ming-yen, Yu Hsiao-han and Ko Lin)

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