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Research on Consumer Protection Mechanism of Passenger Ship Service Suspension Without Warning



Parallel abstracts

Taiwan's passenger ship operators carry out the important task of maritime passenger transportation between and within the outlying islands and the main island of Taiwan. However, due to the limited population in the outlying islands and the large fluctuated tourist demand during the off-peak and peak seasons, passenger ship operators often encounter great challenges in their operations and business. In 2017, Xinglan Shipping Company, which provided passenger ferry service between Pingtung and Orchid Island, suspended journeys without warning due to its financial problem. This caused disputes over pre-sale ticket refunds and consumed a large amount of government administrative resources to deal with the upcoming issues. Thus, the consumer rights protection mechanism in the passenger ferry industry should be discussed. Accordingly, this study investigates the relevant legal basis by reviewing literatures, domestic and foreign laws and regulations, Taiwan's industrial practices and cases, and summarizes practitioners and experts' opinions through interviews and questionnaire surveys to explore this topic. As a result, this study proposes a relevant passenger rights protection mechanism from business and legal perspectives, and suggests the short, medium and long-term plans for government agencies to strengthen their supervision and management system for the passenger ship operators.