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Holiday Chinese tourist visits could fall in wake of oil scandal

2014/09/11 13:45:01

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) The number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan during China's Oct. 1-7 National Day holiday could drop by 20 percent due to the recent food scare involving adulterated edible oil, industry insiders said Wednesday.

Chen Shan-kuo, vice chairman of the Travel Quality Assurance Association, said Chinese tourists, especially those planning to travel in lower-budget groups, have shown the greatest concern among tourists of all nationalities.

The association has received many calls from Chinese tourists who are mainly worried about quality of their meals, Chen said.

To prevent sales performances from being affected by the scandal, some pastry shops selling pineapple cakes and other traditional Taiwanese snacks have also listed the ingredients of their products on their websites in an effort to rebuild consumer confidence.

Last year, around 20,000 Chinese group tourists visited Taiwan during the National Day holiday period.

In response to industry worries, the Tourism Bureau said it has started to inspect restaurants frequently visited by Chinese tourists.

Still, bureau deputy director-general Wayne Liu said the bureau will continue to carry out similar checks on local hoteliers and food providers, as well as keeping information transparent and up-to-date.

Chang Guann Co., a Kaohsiung-based maker of lard, margarine and shortening, is found to have made cooking oil using supplied material recycled from kitchen waste.

Chang Guann has sold the oil products to 236 distributors, which have then resold it downstream to at least 1,256 outlets, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

(By Angela Tsai and Lee Hsin-Yin)