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College of Tourism
New Chinese regulations threaten flow of Chinese tourists into Taiwan

New Chinese regulations threaten flow of Chinese tourists into Taiwan (2013/09/05)

China’s new Tourism Law that takes effect in less than a month could stem the flow of Chinese tourists into Taiwan. The law bars tour operators from earning commissions on shoppers on low-cost tours, fueling fears that prices for packages to Taiwan will skyrocket and reduce demand.

Under the new Tourism Law, travel agencies cannot steer customers to specified shopping venues, cannot charge extra for any activity on a tour and cannot collect commissions on low-cost tours. Violators can be fined as much as 300,000 renminbi.

Retailers in Taiwan that cater exclusively to Chinese tour groups are likely to be hit the hardest. And tour guides will see their income drop as well. But at least one tour guide didn’t seem to mind.

We’re looking forward to it. We hope they do this because leading the tours will be easier. All you have to do is take people around and show them the sites. There’s no pressure.

Guides may feel less pressure, but they may have fewer customers. Without commissions earned from shopping excursions, travel agents are likely to jack up group tour prices by at least 60 percent to above 7,000 renminbi, from over 4,000 renminbi at present.

Yao Ta-kuang
ROC Travel Association Head
I think it’s overkill. When a group finishes the day’s itinerary, the tourists will go shopping on their own, and there’s a bigger chance they’ll be ripped off. If they buy goods at places they’re brought to by travel agents, the travel association guarantees they can return merchandise within 30 days.

Industry insiders estimate that higher tour package fees could cut Chinese tour group visitors by 40 percent. If that’s the case, travel agencies, retailers and tour buses will all be dealt a blow.


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