Mon, Dec 31, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Bureau welcomes Japanese man as 11 millionth visitor

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Japanese tourist Shinobu Nishikawa, third left, receives a bouquet of flowers upon arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday for being the 11 millionth international visitor to Taiwan this year.

Screen grab from the Tourism Bureau Web site

The nation welcomed its 11 millionth international visitor to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday, the Tourism Bureau said.

Japanese tourist Shinobu Nishikawa from Nara Prefecture arrived with his family on a China Airlines (中華航空) flight that landed at 12:10pm, the bureau said.

Aside from congratulating Nishikawa and his family, the bureau also showered them with souvenirs and gifts.

They received free international flights offered by EVA Airways (長榮航空) and China Airlines, two three-day rail passes provided by Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (台灣高鐵), coupons from Palais de Chine Hotel and several other luxury hotels, and creative merchandise featuring OhBear, the bureau’s mascot.

This was his fifth visit to Taiwan, Nishikawa said, adding that he traveled with his family on three of those occasions.

He said that he likes Taiwanese food and has friends here.

Nishikawa said that he and his family were spending four days in Taiwan, and would not only visit Jiufen (九份) and Shifen (十分) in New Taipei City’s Rueifang (瑞芳) and Pingsi (平溪) districts respectively, but would also travel to Taichung, Nantou County’s Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), Tainan and Kaohsiung.

Taiwan has welcomed more than 10 million international tourists in the past few years, bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said, adding that the nation has faced fierce competition from neighboring countries, which have also been pursuing international travelers.

The bureau’s most important task now is to shape Taiwan as a key travel destination in Asia, he said.

To boost the number of international tourists visiting central and southern Taiwan, the bureau said it has been promoting the areas by using various marketing channels and assisting travel agents to design tours that include them.

The bureau said it has also won recognition in Taiwan and overseas for improving the infrastructure in the national scenic areas that fall under its jurisdiction.

For example, Heping Island Park (和平島公園) and Baisha Bay (白沙灣) were chosen as the most accessible tourist attractions at the Svayam Accessibility Awards this year, it said.

Taiwan has seen an increase in both international and domestic tourists in the fourth quarter this year, Acting Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said.

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