Tourism law to enhance cross-Strait cooperation: spokesman

BEIJING, (PNA/Xinhua) — China’s new tourism law, effective on Oct. 1, will promote the cooperation in the travel industry across the Taiwan Strait, a Taiwan affairs spokesman said Friday.

Tourism authorities of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have cooperated on the law and agreed that it is helpful for the sustainable development of tourism cooperation, providing a better environment for businesses and enhancing service quality of two-way tourism, Yang Yi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference.

China’s top legislature adopted a law on tourism in April to protect the rights of tourists and clear the way for the industry’s sustainable development. The law outlines measures to address key problems — unfair competition, wanton price hikes, and forced goods purchases — which have plagued the travel industry and aroused strong public discontent in China.

Mainland tourist arrivals to Taiwan saw a 11.7 percent year-on-year growth to reach 1.3 million in the first seven months this year, of which 259,000 were individual visitors, a 249 percent increase against the same period last year, Yang said.

Asked about the cruise tour market, Yang said the best way to develop the industry is to foster and support cruise liners invested in by enterprises from both sides.

Some foreign cruise operators have permission for transportation across the strait, but they are still not allowed to participate in passenger transport services, Yang said.