Taiwan to attend Chinese travel fair despite setback

2017/09/18 17:49:48

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) The Taiwan Visitors Association (TVA) said Monday that it will lead a small delegation of local tourism operators to attend the largest travel fair in China later this year, despite the absence of Chinese tourism representatives at Taiwan's signature travel fair next month.

TVA Secretary-General Wu Chao-yen (吳朝彥) said that although for the first time in 12 years, the Cross-Strait Taipei Travel Fair will not take place in conjunction with the annual Taipei International Travel Fair due to planning delays, Taiwan-China travel exchanges will continue.

The TVA has received an invitation from the organizers of the China International Travel Mart, slated from Oct. 20-22 in Yunnan Province, and plans to lead some 20 tourism operators to seek business opportunities, as has done in past years, Wu said.

The only concern, though, is that the travel mart could be postponed to November, he said.

As for China's absence in the Taipei International Travel Fair, which takes place Oct. 27-30, TVA Chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said she hopes Taiwan and China can continue their healthy travel exchanges.

"Our position to promote cross-strait tourism has never changed," Yeh said in a press conference.

According to the association, a delay in scheduling and planning has made the Cross-Strait Taipei Travel Fair impossible this year.

The two sides had not been able to reach consensus on the arrangements of the fair by Aug. 10, at which point it was decided there was insufficient time to meet the October deadline, the association said.

However, Yeh has been blamed by local media and the tourism sector as the real reason behind China's decision not to attend the fair in Taiwan, for she holds a strong pro-Taiwan independence stance.

The former vice premier between 2004 and 2005 under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, Yeh said in a seminar in July that she would do everything for tourism operators in Taiwan, given a precondition that "I will not enter China with a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents."

To pro-independence supporters, travel documents issued by China indicate that Taiwan is not an independent country.

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, only 1.5 million Chinese nationals had visited Taiwan between January and July this year, compared with 2.4 million in the year-earlier period.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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