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Stricter tax inspection key to curbing low-quality travel
Central News Agency
2014-09-04 12:45 PM
Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) The government has tightened tax inspections on shopping centers to make sure they are not conducting illegal transactions with local tour operators in an attempt to profit from low-quality travel packages aimed at Chinese tourists, Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih said Thursday. The inspections could prevent the stores from offering commissions to tour guides in exchange for more shopping stops -- the main reason behind the low quality of tours often associated with Chinese group tourists, Yeh said. Such efforts have also helped collect an extra NT$1 billion (US$33.4 million) in tax over the past 18 months, Yeh said, pledging to keep the inspections going. There are currently about 200 shopping centers that are popular with the organizers of Chinese tour groups, some 50 of which are funded by Hong Kong investors, Yeh said in a interview with a local Chinese-language radio station. He said the ministry will keep checking to make sure tourists are issued with invoices and are not subjected to hard-sell shopping itineraries to guard travel quality. Yeh also urged China to allow more travel agencies to operate, adding that there are 400 travel agencies in Taiwan offering package tours, compared with just 200 in China, which could lead to a lack of competition that threatens service quality. In 2013, Some 2.8 million Chinese visitors came to Taiwan, with 2.28 million of them being group tourists. (By Angela Tsai and Lee Hsin-Yin)
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