Taiwan has seen an increase in non-Chinese tourist arrivals over the past year. That’s according to a recent survey released by the tourism bureau.
The survey found that the number of tourist arrivals from East Asia and Southeast Asia rose by more than 1.06 million from last May through February of this year.
A tourism bureau official, Tang Wen-chi, spoke on Monday about the uptick.
“The Japanese market increased by 16.5%, and South Korea by 34.25%," said Tang. "Because of visa free privileges granted to [tourists in some] Southeast Asian countries, Thailand grew by 57%, and Vietnam 34%. A 2016 analysis shows that tourist consumption increased by NT$42.8 billion from last May till February.”
That NT$42.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) increase in tourist consumption on the part of non-Chinese visitors helped make up for some of the drop-off in consumption on the part of Chinese tourists.
From last May when President Tsai took office, through February of this year, Chinese tourists arrivals dropped by 1.12 million, with an estimated loss of revenues worth NT$55.8 billion (US$1.83 billion).
The government has been working to minimize the impact on the tourism industry caused by the dwindling number of Chinese visitors. It is generally believed that the drop has something to do with President Tsai Ing-wen’s refusal to toe the line of Beijing.