Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday reaffirmed the government’s commitment to developing the nation’s tourism industry, adding that it has promised to offer tourism operators its full support.
Chen, speaking at the Tourism Festival Ceremony in Taipei yesterday, said that the nation attracted 10.74 million international visitors last year.
Tourists numbers from 18 countries targeted by the New Southbound Policy grew by 30 percent to exceed 2 million last year, accounting for about 20 percent of international visitors, he said.
The result proves that the policy to draw tourists from Southeast Asian nations has worked, Chen said.
Last year’s increase in tourist numbers is only the beginning, Chen said, adding that tourism operators should offer a wider variety of customized tours after researching the nations targeted by the policy.
Chen said that he hopes that tourism operators can transform the industry, and develop ecological tours and other high-quality itineraries to attract more visitors.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Frank Fan (范植谷) thanked tourism operators for their efforts last year.
Apart from a 30 percent increase in visitor numbers from the nations targeted by the policy, there was also a 20 percent increase in South Korean visitors, as well as an 8 to 11 percent increase in visitor numbers from Europe and North America, Fan said.
The nation used to rely heavily on tourists from a single market, which impeded the development of the industry, Fan said.
People should not evaluate the soundness of the tourism market based on the performance in a single market, he said.
“That the nation still had 10 million international visitors last year shows that Taiwan is working toward a more stable and diversified tourism market,” he said.
Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森) encouraged tourism operators to continue to improve the quality of tours amidst the transformation of the industry.
“The government will support the development of the tourism industry with budget allocations and specific actions,” Chang said.
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