Q1 visitors to Taiwan fall 10%

2017/05/16 20:31:34 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(CNA file photo)

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Visitors to Taiwan in the first quarter of 2017 numbered 2.53 million, a 9.99 percent drop compared with the first three months of last year, the Tourism Bureau said on Monday.

Tallied according to countries or areas, 659,575 Chinese visitors came to Taiwan, a drop of 41.92 percent year-on-year, while 342,270 visitors came from Hong Kong and Macau, a drop of 8.18 percent year-on-year.

In the same period, 475,335 Japanese visited Taiwan, an increase of 0.11 percent year-on-year, while 293,826 South Koreans visited, an increase of 34.48 percent, according to the bureau.

Travel fairs and promotions held in South Korea helped bring more South Korean tourists to Taiwan, while Japanese visitors were stifled somewhat by a lack of flights, bureau officials said.

In Southeast Asia, 92,973 Singaporeans visited Taiwan in the first quarter, an increase of 10.66 percent year-on-year, while 129,044 Malaysians visited, a growth of 17.51 percent.

In the same quarter, visitors from the United States numbered 129,685, a growth of 9.83 percent year-on-year, while those from Europe reached 81,791, a growth of 11.40 percent, mostly from the United Kingdom and France.

As for ways to attract Chinese tourists, travel agents hope that the government can minimize its regulations and maximize leeway for companies, such as offering visa-free treatment to Chinese visitors who hold visas for the U.S., Japan or the European Union, and offering a 30-day visa for independent tourists making a second or subsequent visit, according to a United Evening News report citing Ko Mu-chou (柯牧洲), head of a travel agent, as saying.

Analyzed by their purpose of visit, 1.78 million tourists arrived in the first quarter, accounting for 70.27 percent of all visitors and representing a drop of 13.96 percent year-on-year, while business visitors numbered 186,523, accounting for 7.35 percent and an increase of 1.74 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile in the first quarter, 3.64 million Taiwanese nationals went overseas, an increase of 6.58 percent year-on-year, according to the bureau.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Kuo Chung-han)

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