Mon, Feb 05, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Officials aim for 1.1% more tourist visitors this year

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications aims to attract 10.86 million international visitors this year, including 2.4 million from nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy.

The goal was listed among the four key performance indicators that the ministry hopes to achieve this year.

The nation last year drew 10.74 million international tourists, 2.28 million of whom were from South or Southeast Asia.

To achieve the target, airlines that increase flights to the targeted nations would be given a 20 percent discount on aircraft landing fees, the ministry said.

Last year, an average of 554 flights per week departed to countries targeted by the policy, the ministry added.

Commenting on the decline in Chinese tourist arrivals, Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) said that the nation last year succeeded in diversifying the sources of tourists and drawing independent travelers rather than tour groups.

“There should be more cities in China from which independent travelers are allowed to visit,” he said on Monday last week, adding that since 2015, China has not increased the number of cities whose residents are allowed to travel to Taiwan independently.

Independent travelers from China have greater flexibility in arranging their trips than those traveling with a tour group, he said.

“Compared to other international tourists, Chinese tourists do not have a language barrier and can quickly adjust to the local culture. They are also likely to have more profound travel experiences if they seek to understand Taiwan by visiting remote places,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ministry is also aiming to reduce the number of people who pass within 30 days after a traffic accident from 3,000 in 2015 to 2,700 this year.

In particular, it said it aims to reduce the number of motorcyclists aged 18 to 24 killed from 400 in 2015 to 280.

The coverage rate of the public transportation system in remote areas is to be improved from 75.5 percent last year to 78 percent, while the number of people seamlessly transferring between different public transportation systems would be drastically raised from 3.4 million to 14.5 million, it added.

It said it is also aiming to reduce the amount of time spent waiting in traffic in freeway sections that are frequently congested by an hour per person.

In addition, the ministry said it plans to implement a system under which drivers or motorcyclists who commit minor traffic regulations would receive a point for each violation instead of a fine. Drivers would face a suspension or revocation of their license after accumulating a certain number of points, it said.

The ministry has also made progress in forming partnerships with businesses that ship to Southeast Asian countries, it said.

Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC) and Yangming Marine Transport Corp have invested in container yard and warehouse facilities in Surabaya, Indonesia, to open in the second quarter.

TIPC has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Vinalines in Vietnam to discuss possible partnerships.

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