Asia

Taiwan tourism workers call for help as Chinese numbers fall

  • Tourism-related business workers shout slogans during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Sept. 13, 2016. Thousands of tourism-related business workers held a march to call for the government''s attention on the decline of mainland Chinese visitors since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May. It''s believed that Beijing might have taken the action to tighten its control over Taiwan-bound tourist arrivals after Tsai refused to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    Tourism-related business workers shout slogans during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Sept. 13, 2016. Thousands of tourism-related business workers held a march to call for the government''s attention on the decline of mainland Chinese visitors since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May. It''s believed that Beijing might have taken the action to tighten its control over Taiwan-bound tourist arrivals after Tsai refused to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

  • A tourism industry worker shoots in front a slogan reading "Welcome to Taiwan" during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Sept. 13, 2016. Thousands of tourism industry workers held a march to call for the government''s attention on the decline of mainland Chinese visitors since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May. It''s believed that Beijing might have taken the action to tighten its control over Taiwan-bound tourist arrivals after Tsai refused to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    A tourism industry worker shoots in front a slogan reading "Welcome to Taiwan" during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Sept. 13, 2016. Thousands of tourism industry workers held a march to call for the government''s attention on the decline of mainland Chinese visitors since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May. It''s believed that Beijing might have taken the action to tighten its control over Taiwan-bound tourist arrivals after Tsai refused to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

  • Two tourism industry workers shoot with a slogan reading "No Job. No Life!" during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Sept. 13, 2016. Thousands of tourism-related business workers held a march to call for the government''s attention on the decline of mainland Chinese visitors since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May. It''s believed that Beijing might have taken the action to tighten its control over Taiwan-bound tourist arrivals after Tsai refused to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    Two tourism industry workers shoot with a slogan reading "No Job. No Life!" during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Sept. 13, 2016. Thousands of tourism-related business workers held a march to call for the government''s attention on the decline of mainland Chinese visitors since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May. It''s believed that Beijing might have taken the action to tighten its control over Taiwan-bound tourist arrivals after Tsai refused to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of Taiwanese workers in tourism-related businesses have rallied in the capital to draw attention to a sharp decline in Chinese visitors that is putting their industry under heavy strain.

Workers marched down a central street in Taipei on Monday calling for the preservation of jobs and assistance to the industry, including allowing the owners of tour buses to delay their loan payments.

They urged the government to encourage domestic tourism and allow visa-free entry for travelers from the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations as an inducement.

The number of Chinese visitors has fallen since Beijing began discouraging travel to the island following the May inauguration of independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai has refused to endorse Beijing's concept that Taiwan is part of a single Chinese nation.