Taipei – Three female Chinese tourists, who came to Taiwan via Thailand as part of a tour group, went missing in northern Taiwan Tuesday, according to a news release issued by the National Immigration Agency Wednesday.
If the visitors fail to leave Taiwan by Sunday, the Taiwan government will deduct NT$200,000 (US$6,580) for each of the missing tourists from a deposit made by the local travel agency that hosted the tour group, the immigration agency said.
In addition, the trio will be banned from entering Taiwan for the next five years, according to the agency.
The three Chinese tourists, who arrived in Taiwan July 3, were due to depart at 10 a.m. Wednesday. However, their tour guide failed to locate them earlier in the day and was informed by the hotel in the northern county of Taipei that the Chinese tourists had gone out the previous night to buy snacks.
The trio took only their passports with them, the agency’s statement read.
From 2002 to June this year, a total of 140 Chinese tourists who arrived in Taiwan via a transit destination were reported as having illegally left their tour groups, with 38 of them still missing and 112 of them having been caught, according to local tourism sources.