Saturday, September 10, 2016

Big loans for "tourism": Tour groups "working as intended"

Manzhou Township.

The Cabinet approved big payoffs loans for the tourism industry, since the entirely political bubble of group tours from China has popped...
The Executive Yuan has approved a plan to extend NT$30 billion (US$952 million) in loans to the tourism sector, which has felt the pinch after a fall in the number of Chinese visitors this year.

The Cabinet said that the loans are aimed at helping domestic tourism businesses upgrade their hardware and software in a bid to improve the quality of the industry and eventually attract more visitors to the nation.

Since the Democratic Progressive Party government took office on May 20, there has been a 30 percent year-on-year decline in the number of Chinese tourists taking part in group tours amid cooling cross-strait ties.
The Mainland Affairs Council announced that overall Chinese tourism had fallen 22.3% year on year, with the biggest drop (38.9%) in group tours. News Lens added:
Jessica Yu (尤敏華), secretary of the Hotel Association of the Republic of China, notes that the hotel occupancy rate across Taiwan has dropped 50 percent. Meanwhile, Chang Tien-tsai (張天財), secretary-general of the National Joint Association of Buses for Tourists of the Republic of China, said that about 80 percent of the 16,000 tourist buses around the nation are currently idle due to the drop in Chinese tourists.
All this was entirely predictable, so one has to ask why the various Tourism Associations screaming at the Tsai Administration that they have no Chinese tourists, nevertheless made investments that they must have known would fail. It has been known since November of 2014 at least, that Tsai would win in Jan of 2016... The News Lens article observed that Chinese tourism is also down in Hong Kong and Macao as well, Chinese economic problems are well known, and it is also well known that the corruption drive is pushing down tourism by officials... apparently everyone knew except the tourism industry...

Perhaps China has pulled out its tourists because of the Sunflowers. Remember? One of the goals of the services pact was to put Taiwan's tourism businesses in Chinese hands. Then the whole thing would be Chinese: Chinese tourists would board Chinese planes to Taiwan where they would stay in Chinese-owned hotels and ride in Chinese-owned buses. But that didn't happen. The Sunflowers killed the services pact, many of the local tourism businesses remained in Taiwanese hands, and now China has screwed its allies in Taiwan by pulling out its group tours -- knowing they would scream at the Tsai Administration, a bonus. It was simply waiting for the Tsai government to take power, so she would take the blame for the pullout.

Other notes: in August I began to suspect that the tourism numbers weren't bad because at the beginning of the month when the gov't talked about China tourism, it didn't give any numbers and made some noises about money. Then the numbers were a week late coming out, another signal that reality was straying from the government line. Sure enough, the number of Chinese tourists rose in July. Very curious to see what the drop looks like in August -- and it is that bad, why doesn't MAC simply release the numbers? Yet it never does.

Last August we had 367,736 tourists from China plus another 160,829 from Hong Kong and Macao, for a total of 528,565, one of the highest months ever for the combined total. A 22% drop year on year in China tourists would mean roughly 288,000 visitors. The Hong Kong/Macao number from last August is unusually large. It's likely that has fallen as well -- a double whammy, if so.

Still, 288,000 is a few thousand less than July. You don't think the tourism associations are lying about their situation to put pressure on the government, do you?
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Anonymous said...

My understanding of the tour companies is that they were owned and operated by the Chinese and that the Sunflowers never stopped that from happening because it had already happened. Also, Taiwanese tour guides, bus drivers, and other such workers were getting stiffed, or paid late and little for their efforts since the money literally trickled down from across the strait.

Also, I've been to the "ROC" tourism office and met the director and staff. These are all KMT-hired bureaucrats, and when I talked with them about tours to non-Chinese, the reply was that it was all and only about bringing in the Chinese tourists. There were no other tourists to speak of or worth their attention. I wondered if their jobs or, more likely, bigger bonuses were tied into how many of those droves of vandals they could bring over.

I'd really be interested in knowing how/when the Tsai administration is replacing these KMT cadres from these troublemaking positions.

an angry taiwanese said...

Mega Loan to a few China-bred tourist companies?
Tsai-Lin administration put up another 'Hate Me!' T-Bar, poking at Deep Greeners' apple of the eye.

an angry taiwanese said...

NCC is trying to kill the pro-independence talk show 政經看民視.
You need to know this.
Host 彭文政 facebook:

Michael Turton said...

Thanks angry! I will look into it

My understanding of the tour companies is that they were owned and operated by the Chinese and that the Sunflowers never stopped that from happening because it had already happened. Also, Taiwanese tour guides, bus drivers, and other such workers were getting stiffed, or paid late and little for their efforts since the money literally trickled down from across the strait.

Yeah, lots of hotels and tour companies are owned by Chinese through Taiwanese fronts. I tossed that out there because I wanted to raise the issue of other motives for tourism reductions.

And yes, that's how China operates. stiffs you...

Anonymous said...

other formats of

The Japanese expedition to Formosa

are at

Anonymous said...


Aside from the oddity of this tourism industry loan, thanks for your link to the Edward House 1875 account of The Japanese Expedition to Formosa. It is indeed "way cool".

The first-person accounts of the expedition, its preparations, the contemporary diplomatic and strategic context, positioning of the US and Japan vis a vis interventions by the British with an apparently uninterested China. All informative.

I actually visited Mudan a few months ago as a side trip from Hengchun / Kenting. The location of the Japanese landing and the approaches to the "Stone Gate" are as striking and foreboding today as they must have been then. Steep, narrow, formidable places ...

Remarkable for the aboriginal tribes to subsist in general in those treacherous mountain valleys. They must have been extremely tough folks. Armed, tough, on high ground, friendly in peace (though sensitive to any perceived insults!) and with a fierce sense of honor. Not be trifled with!

Likewise the Japanese involved must have been tough enough to do a serious gut check when looking up at the Stone Gate from the safety of the river plain below. Yowza. I assume sure there must have been some sense of relief to achieve a nominal truce and treaty and then high-tail it out of hostile - and malaria heavy - territory. Meanwhile the larger objective of consolidation of Okinawa was secured.

Today at the top of Stone Gate there is a nice - but little-visited - park with monuments to the battle as well as to the subsequent parties and joint-drinking to celebrate the end of hostilities. The monument to the original Okinawan sailors, and I think their tomb as well, is lower down the river valley along the road from the onsen resort of Sichongxi to Checheng, I think.

All around interesting stuff. Thanks.