Taipei, July 21 (CNA) Tourism officials from both sides of the Taiwan Strait will meet in Kaohsiung next month to discuss ways to enhance travel quality in Taiwan, the Tourism Bureau said earlier this week.
"More themed tours and in-depth itineraries are needed to upgrade Taiwan's tourism industry," bureau deputy head Chang Shi-chung said, adding that related issues will be top of the agenda at the forum to be held in southern Taiwan.
After four years of stable tourism exchanges with China, Taiwan should focus on improving travel quality and safety measures instead of aiming to ramp up tourist volumes, he said.
Since Taiwan opened its doors to Chinese tourists, more than 4 million Chinese nationals have visited the country, with the daily number increasing from an average of about 300 people in 2008 to 5,098 in July this year, Chang said.
The increase in numbers is very beneficial to Taiwan's tourism industry and has generated more than NT$205.7 billion (US$6.86 billion) in revenues, he said, stressing however that it is time for the next step.
For instance, Chang said, local travel agencies are exploring possibilities to launch cruise trips and farm visits to better manage the flow of Chinese tourists, who usually only go to Taiwan's main attractions.
Such tours will offer greater flexibility in travel arrangements and help promote Taiwan's ability to initiate innovative travel experiences.
The meeting, which will be attended by the Taipei-based Taiwan Strait Tourism Association and the Beijing-headquartered Cross-Strait Tourism Association, will also touch on issues like how to make processing travel documents easier, Chang said.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)