Taipei, March 8 (CNA) In response to the fall in the number of Chinese tourists last year the National Palace Museum has decided to set up an office to promote international exchange and attract foreign tourists, museum director Lin Jeng-yi (林正儀) said on Wednesday.
Lin said the establishment of the office is part of a plan to increase the exposure of the museum among local residents and increase its international competitiveness.
However, although the National Palace Museum received fewer Chinese tourists last year, it did attract more tourists from other countries, Lin said, adding that the museum devised the plan to raise its international profile and ensure people around the world have a better understanding of the museum.
Under the plan, the international exchange office will be tasked with integrating resources from various government agencies in Taiwan to promote exchanges with museums in foreign countries. This will be done by establishing a mechanism for cooperation, forging closer museum-to-museum ties and signing memorandums of understanding with foreign museums, Lin said.
The number of Chinese tour group visitors to the museum in 2016 was 1,795,094, down 28.9 percent from 2015, while the museum received 24,281 tour group visitors from Southeast Asia in the same period, an increase of 23.9 percent from the previous year, Lin said citing admissions data from the museum.
The museum also saw 14,139 tour group tourists from Europe and the United States last year, up 58.6 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, it received 305,211 Japanese visitors, up 33.2 percent from 2015 and 175,545 Korean tourists, an increase of 28.9 percent from a year earlier.
The National Palace Museum received a total of 2,176,905 individual domestic and foreign visitors last year, a 3 percent year-on-year, increase according to the data.
(By Sabine Cheng and Evelyn Kao)