Taiwan travel agencies orders immediate halt to China tours

Feb 8, 2024

taipei: taiwanThe Tourism Administration announced its decision on Wednesday to maintain a three-year ban on Taiwanese tourist groups traveling to China, citing Beijing's failure to deport Chinese group tourists, Taiwan Central News Agency reported. given.
“Considering factors such as changes in the current situation and travel safety for Taiwanese citizens, the original plan will no longer proceed,” the administration said in a release.
The decision marks a deviation from the November 2023 resolution, which allowed local travel agencies to begin arranging itineraries for tour groups to China from March 1, 2024, the Central News Agency reported.
Originally, transportation Minister wang Kwo-tsai announced during the November plenary session of the legislature that the Cabinet would lift the cross-strait travel ban by the Lunar New Year, to take effect in March.
The government's decision to allow Taiwanese tourist groups to visit China will also include reopening Taiwan's borders to tourist groups from China, Wang said, according to the Central News Agency.
Wang's statements represent a change in the government's stance expressed in May 2023 and a statement in late August by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top government agency that oversees cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.
on 19th May when Ma XiaoguangWhile a spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office announced that Chinese travel agencies could resume business involving receiving Taiwanese group tourists immediately, Taipei did not respond positively.
Instead, then-tourism bureau chief Chang Shi-chung said that rules on group travel should be negotiated through existing channels – the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits – although Taiwan welcomed China's announcement.
The tourism administration said on Wednesday that the planned policy had to be canceled because “the time is not right for our travel agency to restart group tours of China.”
The administration cited China's reluctance to move forward with reciprocity arrangements and expressed concerns about flight safety due to China's recent unilateral adjustment of its flight path closer to the midline of the Taiwan Strait.
China on February 1 ended an “offset measure” for operations on the south side of the M503 flight path, which is west of the center line of the Taiwan Strait, and began operations on the east side of routes W122 and W123, which Connects the M503 to the cities of Fuzhou and Xiamen. In Fujian province.

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