Taipei, Oct. 14 (CNA) A total of 245 tourists in 20 tour groups arrived in Taiwan Thursday, mainly from Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore, on the first day the nation lifted restrictions on inbound tour groups imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tourism Bureau said in a press release issued that day.
The first 45 travelers arrived in two groups from Thailand at 12:16 a.m. Thursday.
According to the bureau, 3,630 more people in 230 tour groups will arrive in Taiwan by the end of October, while the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said total arrivals and departures on Thursday were about 15,000 and 10,000, respectively.
In addition, 90 percent of seats of the first direct flight from Frankfurt to Taipei were booked, with 80 percent of passengers disembarking in Taiwan, the bureau said.
Frankfurt airport is the most important hub for flights from Europe to Taiwan and China Airlines, Taiwan’s flagship carrier, is set to increase its flights on the route from five to seven per week in November, back to the pre-pandemic level.
Meanwhile, EVA Air will restart return flights between Taipei and Milan on Oct. 25 and provide two flights per week thereafter. Flights between Taipei and Munich will also be relaunched on Nov. 4, with four flights on the route per week.
Commenting on Taiwan reopening its border, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed joy as she welcomed more tourists to visit the nation, hoping that the new 0+7 self-initiated epidemic prevention measures and removal of the quarantine requirement for arrivals will attract more inbound travelers.
The government is also seeking to boost the cruise tour industry.
At a legislative meeting on Thursday, Minister of Transport and Communications Wang Kuo-tsai (王國財) said the ministry has submitted a proposed cruise tour guide to the Central Epidemic Command Center, which it expects to be approved within a week.
(By Lin Yu-li, Yeh Chen, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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