Taiwan welcomed its 10 millionth foreign visitor of 2016 Dec. 11 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, surpassing the milestone for the second consecutive year.
South Korean Han Seong-eun, who arrived at 9:30 p.m. with her husband, was greeted with a lion dance and presented with gifts prepared by the Tourism Bureau including airline tickets, hotel coupons and electronic transportation passes. The newlyweds got married in South Korea earlier the same day and are visiting on their honeymoon.
Taiwan reached the 10 million mark nine days earlier in 2016 than during the previous year. Despite a recent decrease in tourist numbers from mainland China, visitor arrivals from Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia have increased significantly, indicating government efforts to diversify Taiwan’s tourism sources through international publicity campaigns and the New Southbound Policy are paying dividends.
The people-centric New Southbound Policy aims to deepen Taiwan’s business, cultural, education, tourism and trade links with South and Southeast Asian countries as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Tourism Bureau statistics show that the number of inbound visitors opting for independent travel as opposed to group tours has risen by 4 percent year on year to 75 percent. According to the bureau, the ten most popular destinations among foreign travelers are: Alishan (Mount Ali) in southern Taiwan; the town of Jiufen in New Taipei City; Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan; National Palace Museum in Taipei City; Pingxi District in New Taipei; Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan; Tamsui District in New Taipei; Taroko National Park in eastern Taiwan; Ximending shopping area in Taipei; and Yehliu Geopark in New Taipei.
The Tourism Bureau said it is working to further strengthen the tourism environment for East Asian visitors, including those from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, while expanding awareness of Taiwan’s attractions beyond the region. In particular, the bureau offers local travel operators various subsidies and training schemes to help them draw greater numbers of visitors from Southeast Asia and Muslim nations. (KH-E)
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