Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kill the goose that lays the golden egg

The number of tourists from mainland China has been dropping recently. Premier Wu was quoted in an interview indicating that the decrease was a result that the mainland authority had decided to play low key as a general election is near in Taiwan. Wu also attributed natural and human disasters occurred not long ago to the drop. However, according to local news reports, the malignant competition was but a true cause that led to the potential customers to hang back.

Taiwan officials in charge of tourism estimated that the minimal cost for a quality tour would take at least $60 per tourist per day, whereas Taiwan tour agents gave an offer as low as $25 to get the business. It is not hard to imagine what kind of quality tourists might enjoy at such a low price. Few believe that local agents would earn any in this manner. No businessman would do business knowing he would lose money. It is an open secret that local travel agents and tour guides may get their checkbooks balanced by taking tourists to shop at certain gift shops and accept kickbacks from shop owners. Imagine if the tourists are not buying anything. We must not expect tourists will become rational enough to justify the act of the agents a means to make up for their low fee paid. I really doubt those Chinese tourists who have bad experience would consider coming to Taiwan a second time.

Early this month, I joined our school tour group to visit northern Kyushu, Japan. I enjoyed this trip very much. Part of my enjoyment came from the pleasantry and dedication demonstrated by Japanese service personnel, the neat and clean environment of those tourist attractions we visited, and the free and easy feeling we had when we went to any stores without buying anything. Will I come again? Definitely!

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