The government is not extending subsidies to travel agents as it switches its focus to rebooting the tourism industry, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said on Wednesday.
Wang and Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) on Wednesday evening spoke with representatives from the Travel Agent Association, Travel Quality Assurance Association and local travel associations on the status of the tourism industry.
Representatives suggested that the ministry should continue subsidizing salaries in the tourism sector until the border is fully reopened upon COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Photo courtesy of the Tourism Bureau
However, the government has progressed toward revitalizing the tourism industry rather than offering relief, and the government does not have enough funds to subsidize salaries, Wang was quoted by the ministry as saying.
The Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) is to expire on June 30, and the bureau’s Tourism Development Fund is supplied by a bank loan and cannot be used for subsidies, he said.
The Tourism Bureau has finalized eight key international tourism marketing guidelines for the post-pandemic era following a three-day meeting this week, it said yesterday.
Those guidelines include inviting travel reporters, key opinion leaders in the global travel industry, and airlines and travel agencies from other countries to visit Taiwan and experience what the country has to offer, it said.
However, for the local travel industry to revive, it requires the border to be reopened, industry experts said yesterday at a forum.
“The government should flexibly adjust the border control policy based on changes in Taiwan and other countries,” Taiwan International Tourist Aid Rescue Association chairman Roget Hsu (許高慶) said. “For example, it could negotiate a two-way travel bubble arrangement with Japan and then add other destinations.”
“I think the reason the government is afraid of reopening borders now is that children under the age of 12 remain unvaccinated,” Taiwan Tourist Hotel Association Secretary General Chuo Chien-hui (卓倩慧) said.
“The government should realize that borders must one day reopen as it is crucial for Taiwan’s economy and people’s existence,” she added.
In addition to raising vaccination rates at all age levels, the government should allow trial tours to designated countries in ways that protect the health of local communities, she said.
Taiwan Tourism Development Association deputy chairman Ko Mu-chou (柯牧洲) said that tourism subsidies should continue until the border is reopened, and expressed frustration over the government not giving clear answers whenever asked when border restrictions would be lifted.
“The travel industry has lost nearly 70 percent of its workers in the past two years,” Ko said.
The government’s “administrative inertia has prevented any scientific discussion” on travel restrictions, he said.
“Our suggestions about reopening borders are being ignored,” he added.
Starting today, Singapore joins eight other Asian countries in opening is borders to fully vaccinated international visitors, although they must still obtain a negative COVID-19 test result within two days before departure.
Travelers to Singapore do not need to quarantine or undergo other tests upon arrival.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: The large local outbreak makes travel restrictions ineffective, the health minister said, while travel agents are asking for a reopening policy Reopening the borders “is just a matter of time,” the Central Epidemic Command Center said yesterday, after Japan announced that Taiwanese travelers would soon be able to visit the country in package tours. Japan on Thursday said that its borders would reopen gradually, starting with travelers from 98 countries and regions on its “blue” list, which represents places with the lowest risk of infection, including Taiwan. On-arrival COVID-19 tests and quarantine requirements are being waived for travelers from a blue-listed country or region, Japanese officials said. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news
When the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick was first released online, keen-eyed viewers noticed a key detail from the 1986 original had changed: Taiwanese and Japanese flag patches on the back of a jacket worn by Tom Cruise appeared to have gone, leading to speculation they were removed to appease China’s censors. However, the two flags remain in the cut being screened in Taiwan, with SETN reporting that audiences at an advance screening cheered and applauded at the sight of the jacket. The inclusion of the flags left “many Taiwanese viewers moved, surprised and delighted,” SETN reported. The jacket, worn by Cruise’s
Whether Taiwan has adequate medical capacity to handle an increase in COVID-19 cases remains key to deciding when to reopen the nation’s borders to tourists, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. “We have made many suggestions to the Central Epidemic Command Center, including following Japan’s example of allowing the entry of small tour groups first. However, the government’s biggest concern now is whether our medical capacity is adequate to cope with a surge in COVID-19 cases,” he said in response to media queries on the sidelines of a news conference in Taipei. The number of visitors to
EXPECTED TO PEAK: The infection rate in Kaohsiung is still 6 percent, which should increase to about 10 percent before the city’s caseload can fall The nation’s average COVID-19 infection rate is about 8 percent and daily caseloads are expected to start falling once the rate reaches about 10 percent, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), head of the CECC’s disease surveillance division, said 88,247 local and 46 imported cases were confirmed yesterday, as well as 122 deaths. Most of the local cases were reported in New Taipei City, with 14,894, followed by Taichung with 11,511, Kaohsiung with 11,499, Taoyuan with 9,568, Tainan with 7,634 and Taipei with 7,480, CECC data showed. Asked whether daily caseloads were


Shop Sephari