By: George Liao, Central News Agency , Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Lin Fu-nan, head of the Southern Taiwan Tourism Industry Alliance, said on Tuesday that he hopes China could think of the politics and economy separate from each other as slashing the number of Chinese tourists allowed to visit Taiwan is hurting people’s feelings across the Taiwan Strait.
“In the past two years, Kaohsiung City has invested about NT$1 billion every year in hotels and restaurants, but as words spread that some hotel operators in Kaohsiung are planning to convert their hotels into long-term care centers, it is evident that the local tourism sector is no longer prosperous,” Lin said.
Since the beginning of this year, the numbers of Chinese tour groups and school exchange groups coming to Taiwan have fallen, with many of them canceling their trips, Lin said, adding that it’s a far cry from the prosperity in the past.
Traditionally April is an off season, but China’s recent economic and stock market downturns could have possibly played a partial role in the curtail of its tourists, Lin said.
What has really got him worried is the prospect after the power transition on May 20, when the axe will fall on Taiwan’s tourism sector, which is very likely to face impact from China’s cutting the number of tourists to Taiwan in half, Lin said. [FULL STORY]