Tue, Jan 13, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Nation intends to attract 10.5 million international visitors this year: official

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Tourism Bureau yesterday said that the nation aims to welcome 10.5 million international tourists this year, adding that it is targeting markets with what it termed “high-spending” travelers.

The bureau said the nation drew about 9.9 million tourists from overseas last year, registering a growth of 24 percent compared with 2013. International tourists helped generate NT$437 billion (US$13.66 billion) in revenue for the sector.

The bureau said that the WTO projected that global tourism growth between January and October last year would be 4.8 percent. During that period, growth in the Asia-Pacific region’s tourism market reached 6.8 percent. However, Taiwan experienced a growth surge of about 24 percent exceeding regional and global increases.

Bureau Director-General David Hsieh (謝謂君) said Taiwan would join the other nations that welcome more than 10 million international visitors per year.

“We hope that international visitors will become more evenly distributed from different nations,” he said, adding that tourism in Japan, South Korea, North America and Europe saw growth of between 10 and 20 percent last year.

Bureau Deputy Director-General Wayne Liu (劉喜臨) said the bureau defines travelers with high spending power as those who spend more than US$300 per day during a visit, adding that the bureau plans to work with global credit-card companies to reach such visitors.

Liu said the bureau is eyeing growth in several regions this year.

In northeast Asia, the number of tourists visiting Taiwan from Japan reached 1.7 million last year, he said, adding that the bureau projects that tourists from Japan could top 2 million this year.

Meanwhile, Liu said the number of South Korean tourists rose by 55 percent to 500,000 last year.

Regarding the tourism market in Southeast Asia, Liu said the bureau is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to streamline visa application procedures for Southeast Asian visitors.

Liu said that visitors from Europe and North America had increased by 20 percent and 16 percent respectively.

He added that the bureau is planning to enhance its tourism campaign in Germany, France and Canada.

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