Wed, Dec 14, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Tourist numbers hit record high

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

More than 600,000 international tourists visited Taiwan last month, setting the record for the highest number of entries in a single month, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.

Statistics from the bureau showed the number of international visitors topped 619,000 last month. About 210,000 tourists were from China, representing year-on-year growth of 29.13 percent. The number of Japanese tourists rose by 23.69 percent to about 135,000.

Double-digit growth was also seen in the number of tourists visiting from Southeast Asia. The number of tourists from Hong Kong and Macau increased by about 10 percent, whereas those from Malaysia rose by 11.5 percent. The strongest growth was seen in the number of Singaporean tourists, which grew by 27.8 percent compared with the same period last year.

Visitors from South Korea grew by 6.89 percent, based on the bureau’s analysis, and although the US and Europe are suffering from weak economies, the number of tourists from the two regions grew by 9.77 percent and 14.94 percent respectively.

Last month’s figures have boosted confidence at the bureau, which set a goal of seeing 6 million international visitors this year.

The accumulated number of international tourists between January and last month was 5,438,890.

Commenting on the impressive figures, the bureau said that it had succeeded in drawing tourists from Hong Kong, China, North America and Europe to some of its attractions on the east coast, including bicycle tours and tours that enable tourists to experience the lives of Aborigines.

It further credited the success to media coverage of Taiwan. Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, for example, has placed Taiwan on its Best in Travel top 10 countries list for next year.

The bureau said the increase in the number of tourists had helped revive the Alishan area, which was severely damaged by Typhoon Marakot in 2009.

The number of tourists visiting Alishan between January and last month topped 1.3 million, also a record, it said.

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