Taiwan: Chinese individual tourists expected to create 400,000 jobs


Mainland Chinese individual tourists are expected to help create 400,000 jobs in Taiwan, the Tourism Bureau yesterday said.

Taiwan will open itself to Chinese individual travelers starting on June 28, marking a milestone in cross-strait exchange. Currently Chinese tourists are only allowed to travel on a group-in and group-out basis.

According to the Tourism Bureau, after the new policy takes effect, mainland tourists are expected to contribute NT$550 billion in tourism revenue to Taiwan next year and help create 400,000 jobs, especially for tourism-related facilities such as hotels and restaurants.

The bureau further said Taiwan’s tourism industry will become one of the biggest employers over the next five years, thanks to an influx of Chinese tourists.

Last year, Chinese tourists to Taiwan totaled 1.63 million, and over the next ten years they will be Taiwan’s biggest and most extravagant spenders, the bureau said.

Separately, the Council for Labor Affairs (CLA) aired a similar view, saying Chinese tourists will create domestic demand here in Taiwan. Local college graduates should not ignore job opportunities in the service industry, the council said.

The council cited polls as showing during this time last year, when most first-time jobseekers felt confused and murky about their future prospects. But things have changed in 2011, with the job market in the best shape its been in for ten years.

With Chinese individual travelers soon to set foot on Taiwan, many tourism-related operators are bracing themselves for their arrival. These include travel agencies, restaurants and hotels, most of which are expanding their staff and operations, the CLA said.

The agency said Taiwan has transitioned from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based one. College graduates and first-time jobseekers should look for opportunities with retailers, hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, sports and leisure operators, and other businesses in the service industry, it said.