/ Staff writ四湖中小企業貸款er, with CNA
The government yesterday said that it will allocate NT$300 million （US$9.53 西港青年創業融資貸款信貸審核 million） to subsidize businesses in the tourism sector that have suffered losses due to the recent drop in the number of Chinese tour groups visiting Taiwan and help them design tour packages aimed at local travelers.
The Executive Yuan said in a statement that the budget will be used to subsidize hotels, restaurants, tour bus companies and tour guides, and to launch tour packages targeting Taiwanese.
The businesses, whose clients were mainly Chinese tourists, have reported heavy losses due to the recent decline in the number of Chinese tour groups coming to Taiwan, it added.
It is estimated that the subsidies will benefit more than 3,000 businesses in the tourism sector.
They are expected to generate NT$1.44 billion in revenue and business opportunities, the statement said.
The measure is to be put in place over a six-month period, effective immediately, the Tourism Bureau said.
Under the measure, travel agencies are to receive NT$300 for food, NT$600 for accommodation and half of the transportation fees per day for each person on a tour group, the statement said.
Each travel agency can receive a maximum of NT$45,000 for each tour group, it added.
Meanwhile, travel agencies are to receive an additional maximum of NT$10,000 if they hire a Chinese-speaking tour guide to accompany the tour group, the statement said.
An additional NT$5,000 is to be given to eco-tour groups, it said.
The bureau said the government is determined to help the tourism sector recover from the decline in Chinese tour groups and help businesses shift their customer base to Taiwanese and tourists from Southeast Asian and Muslim-majority nations.
According to National Immigration Agency （NIA） data, the number of Chinese visitors to Taiwan between Oct. 1 and Oct. 18 was 47.8 percent lower than in the same period last year, with the number of tourists arriving in groups dropping by 70.6 percent year-on-year.
From May 20, when the Democratic Progressive Party government took office, to September, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals declined 27.2 percent year-on-year, with the number of in tour groups falling 44 percent, NIA data showed.