The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (hereinafter, the “MOTC”) promulgated Article 23 of the Regulations Governing Travel Agencies as amended and Article 6 of the Regulations Governing Tour Guides as amended via the MOTC-Jiao-Lu-(1)-10782000755 Directive of February 1, 2018. These amendments are focused on easing restrictions so that a Chinese-language tour guide in a travel agency receiving tourists speaking rare languages may organize a tour by working with an interpreter. The reasons of the amendments are the MOTC’s need to make expedient deregulation in view of the structural changes in the tour market in Taiwan in recent years and the dire needs for rare foreign language tour guides due to the increasing diversity in the nationalities of the tourists visiting Taiwan.
With respect to specific provisions as amended, the provision of Paragraph 2 is added to Article 23 of the Regulations Governing Travel Agencies to allow a travel operator receiving or guiding foreign rare-language tours may assign or hire a Chinese-language guide who may work with an interpreter for such rare foreign language to accompany the tour group to provide services. To accommodate the above amendment, the provision of Paragraph 5 of Article 6 is also added to specifically provide that when working with a rare language interpreter, a Chinese tour guide may receive or guide non-Chinese foreign rare language travel business. As for the deregulation period for the so-called foreign rare-language category and such expedient measure, the MOTC has added a licensing provision in Article 23, Paragraph 3 of the Regulations Governing Travel Agencies and Article 6, Paragraph 6 of the Regulations Governing Tour Guides. In the future, the Tourism Bureau will make further announcements, depending on the tourist market and the supply and demand of tourist guides.