Tourism operators to rally Sept. 12 for business opportunities

Around 10,000 people from 11 tourism-related trade associations will take to the streets Sept. 12 to demand a better business environment from the government after a recent slide in the number of Chinese tourists, industry representatives said Wednesday.

Tourism operators, including tourist bus companies, souvenir shops and hoteliers, said in a press conference that the rally will not address any political agenda but will simply be a plea to the government for help in surviving the market slump.

"We want to survive, to have jobs, and to be able to feed ourselves," said Ringo Lee (???), a spokesman for the Travel Agent Association of the Republic of China.

Lee stressed that the industry does not intend to urge President Tsai Ing-wen (???) to acknowledge the "1992 Consensus," which refers to a tacit understanding reached between Taiwan -- then under a Kuomintang government -- and China in 1992, that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.

Many front-line tourism operators see the slide in Chinese tourist arrivals as a result of Tsai's reluctance to accept the consensus that China insists must be the political foundation for the development of cross-strait exchanges.

The industry wants Tsai's government to offer market incentives, as well as financial support, for tourism-related businesses that are struggling under the current policy.

In 2015, Taiwan recorded 10.5 million visitor arrivals, 4.18 million of which were from China, official data shows.

Since the new government took office in Taiwan in May, however, there has been a 30 percent decline year-on-year in the number of Chinese tourists arriving on group tours to Taiwan.

In July alone, Chinese visitor numbers were down 15.03 percent year-on-year, after falling about 12 percent in May and June.

The march will start at 1 p.m. from the Huashan 1914 Creative Park and end at around 5 p.m. on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, Lee said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel