Despite salaries of NT$60,000 per month, Taiwan is having difficulty hiring enough tour bus drivers to accommodate the increasing numbers of tourists, UDN reported. The island needs approximately 3000 more bus drivers to fill all the vacancies.
The Ministry of Transportation announced last week that it would ease requirements for tour bus drivers, lowering the years of experience necessary from three to two. It would also accept at least one year of highway or city bus service and 101 hours of government training.
Taipei Tour Bus Association chairman Alex Lu (魯孝亞) said that training costs NT$50,000, NT$10,000 of which is paid by the prospective driver, and does not guarantee employment. He added that with the new regulations, he expects 1500 vacancies to be filled in the next two years.
Taiwan has been actively promoting tourism, but still relies heavily on mainland Chinese tourists who are mostly required to visit on a group tour. According to Tourism Bureau statistics, 861,592 tourists visited Taiwan in March, a decrease of 2.14% from the previous year, of which 279,703 were from mainland China. In the first three months of 2015, Taiwan welcomed 2,431,046 visitors, 41.44% of whom were from mainland China.