The Cabinet approved big
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 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:
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.
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?
- WAY COOL: Edward House's 1875 world The Japanese Expedition to Formosa is available on Google Books for free. House was a correspondent who witnessed many of the events.
- Brookings hosts one day event on Cross-Strait relations under the Tsai Administration.
- Taiwanese expats find success in ASEAN
- Taipei City government presents earthquake liquefaction map.
- Michael Hsiao argues that the polls showing Tsai's ratings are skewed by their questions.
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