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September 8, 2016

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Taiwan’s tourism sector to protest

AROUND 10,000 people employed in hospitality and tourism in Taiwan will take to the streets in downtown Taipei next Monday to protest against a drop in visitors from the Chinese mainland, organizers said yesterday.

This will be the sector’s first ever demonstration, according to the organizers, which include the island’s associations of hotels, travel agents and tour buses.

“We want the authorities to acknowledge that things cannot go on like this,” Ringo Lee, a spokesperson for the island’s Travel Agent Association, said at a press briefing.

The number of mainland visitors, which rose to about 4.2 million last year, has declined since Tsai Ing-wen took office. The organizers of the event attribute this to Tsai’s refusal to recognize the 1992 Consensus, which includes the one-China policy. Her attitude has left mainlanders feeling both puzzled and unwelcome.

According to data released by the island’s authorities, although the number of individual visitors from the mainland has remained stable, the number of tourists visiting the island on group tours has shrunk by about 30 percent over the three months since May, compared with the same period last year.

In May and June, the number of mainland tourists visiting Taiwan decreased by more than 80,000 from the same period last year, according to the island’s travel agency.


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