Taiwan is reassessing its tourism goals in light of challenges in cross-strait travel, with Tourism Administration Director-General Chou Yung-hui expressing concerns over a potential shortfall of 2 million foreign visitor arrivals this year, Central News Agency (CNA) reported. Chou indicated that if China persists in its ban on group tourist visits to Taiwan, the tourism target may need to be adjusted downward to 10 million. Full recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels of 12 million visitors is not expected until 2025, according to Chou’s remarks to reporters.

Taiwan sees tourism recovery, plans to expand Taiwan Pass for locals(Unsplash)

Taiwan has urged China to exhibit “goodwill” in both tourism and political spheres, hinting that such gestures could prompt Taiwan to reconsider its own ban on tour groups traveling to China, which was slated to lift in June, according to CNA. Last month, Taiwan reversed its decision to lift the three-year ban on group tourists bound for China, citing hostility from Beijing and the lack of Chinese tourist groups visiting Taiwan. (Also read: Akasa Air begins international flights: Mumbai-Doha route inaugurated, more destinations planned )

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Despite the setbacks, Taiwan has seen a significant recovery in tourism, with nearly 1.9 million visitors recorded as of March 15, representing an 85 percent rebound compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019. Notably, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau remain the top destinations for visitors to Taiwan.

Chou also announced plans to expand the Taiwan Pass, originally designed for foreign visitors, to include local tourists. This pass, priced at New Taiwan dollar 2,500 (USD80), offers three days of unlimited travel on the country’s high-speed rail network, selected metro lines, and tour bus services. Additionally, cruise liner services will be incorporated into the pass. The pass is slated for launch on June 1, although the final price has yet to be determined, according to Chou, CNA reported.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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