Views:36 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2019-08-01 Origin:CHINA DAILY
Independent travel from Mainland China to Taiwan will be suspended from Thursday, given current cross-Straits relations, according to a Ministry of Culture and Tourism statement
on this Wednesday.The so-called self-guided travel to Taiwan has been trialled since June 2011.
Travel agency sources said that all tourists with plans to visit Taiwan now have to join tour groups.
It is noteworthy that this is the first time individual travel permits have been suspended since the program, which applies to the residents of 47 major mainland cities, was launched
The move shows the extent to which cross-Straits relations have plummeted over the past three years, since the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party administration
led by Tsai Ing-wen took office on the island.And it is the antics of the Tsai administration that have prompted this move.
Tourists from the mainland paid about 4.18 million trips to Taiwan in 2015, about 40 percent of the total visits it received from outside, while the number was 2.69 million,
accounting for 25 percent of the total visits last year.Tsai has every reason to reflect on why the island's tourism revenue, a pillar of its economy, has decreased for three consecutive years since she took office.
Although two travel bus accidents in 2016 and 2017 — which killed 26, including 24 mainland tourists and 34 foreign visitors, respectively — have contributed to the sharp fall of
tourists from the mainland, it is the diehard separatist moves of the Tsai administration that are to blame for Taiwan losing its popularity among mainland tourists.
It is estimated the suspension of the individual travel permit program will reduce the number of visits by mainland tourists by about 700,000 in half a year, and exacerbate the
negative growth of the island's tourism revenue. Which in turn will send ripples across the island's "presidential election" that is scheduled for January, as it may prompt the Taiwan
people to think about whether it is worthwhile to continue to be bound with a secessionist "leader" on the same ghost ship for another four years.
In fact, Beijing has exercised considerable restraint in the face of all the provocations of Tsai since she took office in 2016. Beijing clearly separates the Taiwan compatriots from the
secessionists, and tries its best to minimize the effect its countermeasures have on ordinary residents.But if Tsai continues with her fantasy that the tail can wag the dog, and ignores the interests of the Taiwan people along with all warnings from Beijing, including this week's military drills in waters near the island, she is in for a rude awakening.