Tourists from China, Hong Kong and Macau accounted for more than 50 percent of visitor arrivals to Taiwan in the first half of the year, according to latest statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior.
The figures show that 3.81 million visitors came to Taiwan in the period between January and June, 51.9 percent of which came from China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Tourists from Japan made up 17.4 percent of arrivals, while 5.3 percent came from the US, the data showed.
The main purpose for travelling to Taiwan was sightseeing, with 67.3 percent of visitors stating that as the reason for their trip, according to the statistics.
Ministry officials said this figure be attributed to government efforts to promote tourism and ease restrictions on sightseeing tours by Chinese travelers.
The measures include expanding the scope of direct flights between Taiwan and China, and allowing visits by independent Chinese tourists, the officials said.
According to the ministry’s statistics, the number of travelers entering and leaving the nation was 18.11 million in the first six months of the year, a 6.4 percent growth compared with the same period last year.
The numbers also show that 5.29 million Taiwanese traveled abroad in the first half of the year, with China, Hong Kong and Macau being the most popular destinations (50.6 percent), followed by Japan (21 percent), the ministry said.