The number of Chinese tourists in Taiwan has dropped significantly this year with the chill in cross-strait relationship. Recent rumors say that an even greater drop in tourist numbers is expected next year, with no Chinese tour groups coming to next year's Lantern Festival.
A 24-member tour group from Indonesia poses in front of the National Palace Museum. In the past, the museum was full of Chinese tour groups and mainland accents could be heard everywhere. Now, the languages of Southeast Asia are becoming more common.
==MARIO WILSON, Indonesian visitor==
It's a pretty great country. Yeah, it's nice.
==SILVIA SYLVANA, Indonesian visitor==
School holidays, public holidays... many (Indonesian) tourists come to Taiwan.
These Indonesian tour groups on ten-day trips are an increasingly common sight across Taiwan. Even so, the tourism industry is concerned by the 500,000-person drop in visitors from China this year. Even the number of independent Chinese tourists has dropped by 1600 to 2000 daily. Now rumors suggest that Chinese tour group numbers for early next year are falling short of expectations, and that there may be no Chinese tour groups for the Taiwan Lantern Festival in Yunlin.
==LI CHI-YUEH, Spokesperson, Travel Agent Assoc. of ROC, Taiwan==
How to secure our existing markets while developing new ones, is something that the Tourism Bureau or even the entire government needs to help us and give us some direction with. Otherwise, the impact on the industry will be severe.
The Travel Agent Association says that the cut in Chinese tourists is making a bad situation worse for Taiwan's tourism market. Tourism companies say that, to prevent a deep freeze in Taiwan's tourism industry, the government must work to secure the existing customer base even as it expands into new markets.
TRANSLATED BY：JOHN CHEN
==印尼旅客 Mario Wilson==
==印尼旅客 Silvia Sylvana==
記者 王柏文 陳立峰 台北報導