Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said yesterday that the nation’s 6 millionth international visitor this year would likely arrive on Dec. 29.
Lai made the announcement at a ceremony for the Taiwan Visitors Association, which celebrated its 55th anniversary yesterday.
The news came following the bureau’s announcement earlier this week that 619,000 international tourists visited Taiwan last month, which set a record for the highest number of entries in a single month.
Lai said the bureau would -continue toward the goal of having 10 million international visitors a year by 2016.
The nation drew about 5.6 million visitors from overseas last year. The bureau originally aimed to attract 6.5 million this year, but lowered the target last month to 6 million owing to a series of incidents, including natural disasters in Japan, the derailment of the Alishan Forest Railway and the plasticizer scare.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) added that Taiwan could expect the number of international visitors to grow about 8 percent this year.
Mao said the increase in -international visitors had encouraged investment in tourism, adding that NT$280 billion (US$9.23 billion) has been invested in the hotel industry and more than NT$4 billion in amusement parks.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), who also attended the ceremony, said the funding used to develop tourism was a good investment.
“The nation spent NT$2 trillion developing the DRAM sector, but it only contributed GDP growth of 0.48 percent,” Ting said. “We used less than that amount to fund the tourism industry, which generated GDP growth of 4 percent.”