Date
23 November 2017
Sizihwan Bay (inset) is an idyllic coastal town on the southwestern fringe of Kaoshiung. Residents say a constant flood of Chinese tourists has been causing traffic congestion and chaos. Photos: Bloomberg, Baidu
Sizihwan Bay (inset) is an idyllic coastal town on the southwestern fringe of Kaoshiung. Residents say a constant flood of Chinese tourists has been causing traffic congestion and chaos. Photos: Bloomberg, Baidu

Taiwan tourist town threatens blockade against mainlanders

Residents of a tourist town in southern Taiwan are threatening a blockade unless the local government controls an increasing flood of visitors from the Chinese mainland.

Sizihwan Bay in Kaohsiung on the southwestern edge of Taiwan is being swamped with up to 4,000 daily arrivals, causing traffic congestion and chaos, am730 reported Thursday.

The local government has proposed measures to curb arrivals including limits on the number of tour buses and increased public transport but residents said these are not enough.

They want the government to take stronger action and are prepared to take matters into their own hands including blocking streets, the report said.

The Taiwanese government has been allowing an increasing number of Chinese tourists into the island amid thawing cross-strait relations.  

On Wednesday, Taipei said it will allow residents of a further 11 Chinese cities to visit on individual permits from April 15.

That will bring the number of mainland cities covered by the scheme to 47, the report said.

These include Haikao in Hainan province, Hohhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Lanzhou in Gansu province and Huizhou in Guangdong province.

The city government in Kaoshiung said the planned action by Sizihwan Bay residents could hurt the travel industry.

Last year, 1.18 million mainlanders traveled to Taiwan on individual permits, the highest since the policy was introduced in June 2011.

The figure was more than double the number in 2013.

Sizihwan Bay, which boasts a sandy beach on a long coastline offering magnificent views of nature, is Taiwan’s third biggest tourist attraction.

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