Business sector urges borders to open ahead of scheduled Oct. 13 date

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) A number of business associations said on Thursday that if the pandemic begins to ease, the government should consider opening borders ahead of the proposed Oct. 13 date announced by Prime Minister Su Tseng. -chang (蘇貞昌). daytime.

President of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China Hsu Shu-po (許舒博) said he had previously implored the Executive Yuan to lift border restrictions in early October.

If there is a sharp drop in COVID-19 cases by September 29, restrictions should be lifted even sooner, Hsu said.

Hsu noted that the border restrictions have had a lasting effect on Taiwan’s economic development and that the government should continue with its plans to reopen the country for the benefit of the business sector and the general public.

Separately, the chairman of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce in Taiwan, Lin Por-fong (林伯豐), said that it had been two to three years since local companies had been able to do business. in Taiwan with current or potential foreign business partners.

If the government speeds up the reopening of Taiwan’s borders, the economic recovery spurred by the decision will greatly benefit local businesses, he said.

The business sector believes that those who are fully inoculated should be treated differently from those who are not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated, and the former should be exempted from the seven-day “self-initiated epidemic prevention” that arriving travelers should observe from October 1st. 13, Lin added.

Regarding the impact that the return of normal border policies will have on the tourism industry, several local tourism businesses said it would take around six months to a year for the sector to fully recover.

Speaking to CNA, Phoenix Tours General Manager Benjamin Pien (卞傑民) said the reopening of Taiwan’s borders and accompanying “0+7” policy, under which arriving visitors will no longer be required to self-quarantine for three days, but will have to undertake seven days of “self-initiated disease prevention” are welcomed by the industry.

Travel agencies have survived on limited operations during the pandemic, earning revenue through ticket sales and other minor services instead of regular tours. With the reopening, tour operators and their partners can finally resume normal operations, Pien explained.

However, he added that a large number of businesses and industry partners have not survived the pandemic, which will limit the speed of recovery for inbound and outbound tourism, with around six months to a year needed. for the industry to return to Ordinary.

Cheng Chao-kang (鄭兆剛), general manager of Asian online booking platform AsiaYo, said revived tourism will see more backpackers than tour groups and more bookings made with Airbnbs rather than hotels, as Airbnbs are generally less crowded and could be perceived as a safer accommodation choice with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission than hotels.

Chu Chun-jung (朱俊榮), general manager of Taiwanese online travel agency EzFly, said that while industry growth is expected, costs and prices will also increase due to the increase in price. fuel, airfare and hotel costs.

(By Chiang Ming-yen, Cheng Hung-ta, Yu Hsiao-han and James Lo)

End Article/AW

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