Ministry steps up work on Tourism Bureau upgrade
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has accelerated its efforts to upgrade the Tourism Bureau in hopes that a proposed organization act for the establishment of a Tourism Administration would be approved at the next legislative session, which begins next month.
The upgrading of the bureau is one of the three key tourism policies proposed by Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) since he took office last year, along with hosting a national tourism policy development conference and publishing the 2030 Tourism Policy White Paper, Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) said.
To facilitate the establishment of a Tourism Administration, Chang said that Lin is leading a consultation task force to coordinate with all agencies under the ministry, with members of the task force drawn from almost all agencies.
The draft organization act for a Tourism Administration, which was finalized in May, is scheduled to be submitted to the Executive Yuan this month, he added.
“We hope the draft act can be approved at the upcoming legislative session,” Chang said.
The draft act, which has only 16 articles, is different from the organization act of the Tourism Bureau and includes the development of digital tourism services, he said.
It would authorize a Tourism Administration to form an independent administrative institution that would be in charge of organizing tourism marketing campaigns overseas, Chang said.
“Such an institution would allow the government to be directly involved in international tourism campaigns, enabling it to carry out the campaigns in a more flexible manner,” he said.
The proposed agency would continue the bureau’s task of taking charge of the 13 national scenic areas, but whether these sites would be consolidated and how their budget and personnel should be appropriated would be stipulated in the subsidiary regulations under the new organization act, Chang said.
In addition to the head office in Taipei, the new agency would have branch offices nationwide to oversee and integrate regional tourism affairs, he said.
The bureau is scheduled to submit the subsidiary regulations of its organization act to the Executive Yuan at the beginning of next year.
Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the bureau is revising its goal of attracting 20 million tourists by 2030, Chang said.
The bureau has come up with three scenarios on how the situation would play out as it adjusts its goal, and would make a decision at the end of the year after taking into account how the world deals with the pandemic, he said.
Although Taiwan is actively seeking to form “travel bubbles” with other countries, it has made little progress as disease-prevention officials in target countries have differing views about the spread and containment of the pandemic, he said.
There has yet to be a successful “travel bubble” model for the bureau to follow, he said.
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