Fri, Jul 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Night markets draw most tourists last year in Taipei

SOUTHBOUND REWARDS:Taipei has recorded a nearly 30 percent increase in tourists from Southeast Asia, with the Philippines showing the largest rise

By Tsai Ya-hua and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taipei 101 and the Taipei skyline are pictured on Dec. 20 last year.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Night markets, Taipei 101 and Ximending (西門町) area attracted the most visitors to Taipei last year, according to the results of a survey released yesterday by the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism.

Of the survey’s 3,600 respondents, 74.53 percent visited night markets in the city last year. Next most popular were Taipei 101 (67.33 percent), Ximending (48.75 percent), the National Palace Museum (27.56 percent), Yangmingshan (陽明山, 21.17 percent) and the Dadaocheng area (大稻埕, 19.21 percent).

Among the 2,640 respondents who reported purchasing local specialty foods, pineapple cakes were by far the most popular (85.76 percent, or 2,264 people).

Tourists from Japan, Singapore and China also ate traditional Taiwanese breakfasts, the department said, adding that instant noodles and beef noodle soup were popular among tourists.

The survey, which was conducted throughout last year, targeted foreign tourists who visited Taipei during their stay and departed from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport.

Among the 10,739,601 people who visited Taiwan last year, 90.9 percent visited Taipei, it said.

On average, visitors spent 4.22 days and US$259.83 per person per day in the city, it said.

Tourists from China, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau accounted for the largest share of foreign visitors to Taipei last year, said Chueh Yu-ling (闕玉玲), head of the department’s Tourism Development Division.

The number of tourists from South Korea, which has grown rapidly in recent years, ranked fourth, Chueh said.

As a result of the New Southbound Policy, the city experienced a nearly 30 percent increase from 2016 in tourists from Southeast Asia, with the Philippines showing the largest growth in visitors, she said.

The number of visitors from Muslim-majority nations, which the Taipei City Government has been seeking to boost in recent years, has also shown a slight increase, she said.

Chinese tourists have the strongest spending power, department Commissioner Chen Su-yu (陳思宇) said.

Last year, Chinese tourists spent an average of US$390.44 per person per day in Taipei, followed by those from Singapore (US$265.41), Japan (US$245.76) and South Korea (US$243.29), she said.

Travel to Taipei from Japan and South Korea has been growing steadily, Chen said.

The department is to continue pushing marketing strategies to attract Japanese and South Korean tourists, she said.

For example, it is this year to target older travelers from South Korea and has partnered with online travel platforms, airlines and travel agencies to next month release discounted hot spring itineraries, she said.

In September, the department is to participate in the Tourism Expo Japan in Tokyo, Chen said, adding that the city government has worked with a Japanese artist to create special-edition EasyCards to bring to the event.

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