Huang Shih-fang (right), head of the Tourism Bureau’s International Affairs Division, welcomes the two millionth Japanese visitor (second right) to Taiwan Dec. 9 last year at Taoyuan International Airport, highlighting a record-setting year for inbound international tourism. (UDN)
Taiwan welcomed a record 11.84 million international tourists last year, a 7 percent increase over 2018, spotlighting the effectiveness of government policies to attract more visitors, according to the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications Jan. 6.
The figures cap a remarkable year for the country’s tourism industry, the bureau said, with the number of Japanese visitors surpassing two million for the first time Dec. 9, while the numbers of tourists from South Korea and the 18 countries targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy also increased.
As part of efforts to attract more visitors from abroad, the bureau has set up branch offices in Ho Chi Minh City and London, as well as smaller tour service departments in Moscow, Jakarta, Vancouver, Auckland and Sydney. Meetings have also been held with representatives from Japan and South Korea to discuss strategies for increasing bilateral tourism, it added.
According to the bureau, cooperating with the private sector to provide enhanced products and services is at the heart of government plans to boost inbound tourism. Noteworthy examples include providing subsidies for 38 charter flights from Japan and South Korea to Hualien County in eastern Taiwan last year, as well as working with travel alliance Asia Cruise Cooperation to promote ocean tours, it said.
A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the New Southbound Policy seeks to enhance agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties between Taiwan and the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand. (RAY-E)