China was the top source of visitors to Taiwan, as well as the top destination for Taiwanese traveling overseas last year, data released yesterday by the Ministry of the Interior showed.
Taiwan posted a record 8,016,280 non-resident arrivals last year, with 50.62 percent of those visits made by Chinese nationals, including tourists from Hong Kong and Macau, the ministry said.
Chinese visitors also posted the biggest increase, up 12.7 percent from 2012, the ministry said.
Non-resident arrivals include foreign nationals and Taiwanese with no household registration in Taiwan, the latter of which only accounted for 0.11 percent of the total figure last year.
Japan followed with 1,421,550, or 17.73 percent of visitors, and the US took third place with 414,060, or 5.17 percent, the data showed.
The majority of visitors to Taiwan — 68.35 percent — came as tourists, while the second-largest group on 11.57 percent were traveling on business, the ministry said.
The number of visitors coming to Taiwan for medical reasons grew 71.25 percent to 41,639 last year, compared with the previous year.
China, Hong Kong and Macau together were the top destinations of Taiwanese travelers last year, accounting for 50.90 percent of the 11,052,908 foreign trips taken, although the number dropped 2.86 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.
Japan was in second place, receiving 21.23 percent of Taiwanese’ tourists, due to a weaker yen, the ministry said. South Korea was next with 4.69 percent.
Meanwhile, the combined number of inbound and outbound travelers rose 8.8 percent to 38,032,500 last year, and 74.68 percent of the passengers used the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, according to ministry data.
Kaohsiung International Airport followed with 8.93 percent, and Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) came in at a close third, with 7.85 percent, the ministry added.