One thing all travel journalists learn: the travel industry will complain no matter what it is offered. Thus in Taiwan, we have the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) stating that despite government claims that opening the country to tourists from the Mainland would benefit the economy, the policy had proved a failure.
Acting DPP spokesman Chuang Suo-hang told a press conference that since the government opened up the country to tourists from the Mainland on July 4 last year, only about 360,000 tourists from China had visited the country, or around 1,000 per day, much less than the government’s promise of 3,000.
He said about 3.5 million Taiwanese visited the mainland in the same period, 10 times the figure for the reverse flow. He did not say that this was because the Mainland is ten times more attractive. This was not part of his argument.
VistChn reported that the low numbers might be attributed to the global outbreak of (A)H1N1 influenza and the economic downturn.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s hotel and tourism operators are complaining about the tourists who do arrive from the Mainland. They smoke in their rooms and, horrors of horrors, use its bathroom cups as ashtrays.
Hotel and tourism operators said that some of the other complaints they often receive about Chinese tourists include walking around wearing only underwear in public areas.
The Taipei Times reported that there was a move to ask tourists from the Mainland to leave a deposit when they check in. However, representatives from the Tourism Bureau and travel agencies were opposed to it, saying there was no legal basis for such an action.
To sum up, there are too few tourists from the Mainland and, anyway, we don’t like the ones we get.