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Tourists to be offered cheaper trips to Taiwan

TAIWAN tourism authorities are to cancel the minimum cost of tours from the Chinese mainland, currently US$80 a day.

Some tour agencies have already started promoting the packages which cost less but there is concern that cut-throat competition may lead to a poorer-quality holidays.

Tourism authorities in Taiwan are to monitor the situation to ensure quality remains high. For example, they are to ban agencies from promoting so-called "free tours," which may be filled with shopping and events which carry extra charges.

Meanwhile, Shanghai tourists are increasingly favoring specialist tours to Taiwan rather than those offering general sightseeing, local tour agencies said.

The most popular package is one for food lovers, which offers fewer trips to scenic spots but more opportunities to enjoy Taiwanese food. These sell out quickly and are a big hit with young people.

Older people, however, still prefer around-island tours, which are usually three to four days longer, according to online tour company

"At present, 80 percent of tourists to Taiwan are above the age of 50," said the company's Tang Yibo. "They usually want to cover as many scenic spots in the tour as possible."

Officials from the Penghu Bay area of Taiwan were in Shanghai over the weekend to promote tourism on the islands there.

They said Penghu County offered tourists sunshine, good beaches, excellent seafood and many ancient buildings to visit. They said they expected direct flights from Shanghai and Magong, a city in Penghu County, to begin this summer.


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