Mon, Jun 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

April tourist arrivals drop 4.72% as Easter falls early

Staff writer, with CNA

The nation welcomed 883,072 foreign visitors in April, down 4.72 percent from the same period last year, Tourism Bureau data showed.

The number of visitors from Hong Kong and Macau was 122,583 in April, plunging 35.75 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

The sharp decline was due to a high comparison base caused by the Easter holiday falling on different dates last year and this year, said Huang Cheng-tsung (黃正聰), an associate professor at Providence University Department of Tourism in Taichung.

The number of South Korean visitors also fell 21 percent annually to 66,555, the data showed.

The decline was attributed to the deadly magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck Hualien on Feb. 6.

Hualien is one of the most popular destinations in Taiwan for South Koreans, which is why arrivals plunged after the quake struck, killing 17 people and toppling buildings, a bureau official said.

However, visitor numbers from Southeast Asian nations grew 14.76 percent annually to 225,795 as the government continued to push its New Southbound Policy, which seeks to boost economic ties with the 10 ASEAN members, and South Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

The number of Chinese visitors also rose, growing 6.33 percent annually to 227,749, the data showed.

The government urgently needs to address the problem of tight water and electricity supplies as the peak summer tourism season begins, Taiwan’s Travel Quality Assurance Association official Lilien Lian (連郁卿) said.

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