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Taiwan sees first tourism demonstration amid mainland visitors drop
   2016-09-12 15:44:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Fei Fei

Tourism and hospitality workers from across Taiwan gather in Taipei for a major demonstration facing with declines in mainland tourists on Spet. 12, 2016. [Photo: People's Daily/Peng Bo, Zhao Shan]

Over 10,000 tourism and hospitality workers from across Taiwan staged the island's first demonstration in the industry on Monday urging the local government to act after the industry encountered a poor season this year.

Taiwan's tourism industry has seen a sharp decline in mainland tourist numbers after the island's leader Tsai Ing-wen took office in May.

Latest data show that in August, the island saw a dramatic drop of 40% in inbound tourists from the Chinese mainland.

"We want the authorities to acknowledge that things cannot go on like this," Ringo Lee, a spokesperson for the island's Travel Agent Association, said at an earlier press briefing held on Spet. 7.

The organizers of the event attribute this to Tsai's refusal to recognize the 1992 Consensus, which includes the one-China policy.

The Magistrate of Nantou county, Lim Ming-chen, said "the tourism industry needs visitors" and called for "peace not opposition across the Straits" when showed up to farewell the workers heading north for the demonstration in the morning, reported the Taiwan-based United Daily News. 

A staff member from the Nan Tou Hotel said the fall in numbers of mainland visitors is around 50 percent, according to the United Daily News.

Some even predict that more hotels, tourism agencies and coach companies will shut down during the next six months, and are pushing the island's government to come up with feasible solutions, says the report.

A tour bus fire in July which killed 24 people from the Chinese mainland also cast a cloud over Taiwan tourism.

Taiwan authorities confirmed over the weekend the driver, who died in the blaze, was responsible, and he was found to be suicidal, driving while intoxicated, and he deliberately doused the passengers with gasoline and started the fire. 

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