Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Tourism income up first time in four years

By Hsiao Yu-hsin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The nation’s tourism income last year rose for the first time in four years, increasing 11.3 percent to US$13.7 billion, the Tourism Bureau said on Tuesday.

The figure is the third-highest on record, the bureau said.

The bureau cited the depreciation of the New Taiwan dollar, a declining number of Chinese tourists and their changing spending habits as reasons for three consecutive years of declines.

A disparity between an increasing number of foreign visitors and falling tourism income has been the target of criticism.

Tourism income was US$14.4 billion in 2015, US$13.4 billion in 2016 and US$12.3 billion in 2017, bureau data showed.

Last year, foreign visitors spent an average of US$192 per person per day, an increase of US$12, or 6.83 percent, from 2017, according to the bureau’s 2018 Annual Survey of Visitors Expenditure and Trends in Taiwan.

Spending on goods provided by hotels fell US$1.47, or 2.18 percent, while spending on purchasing goods saw the greatest increase at US$5.71, or 11.24 percent, the bureau said.

Dining in restaurants outside of hotels saw the second-highest increase with US$5.63, or 16.54 percent, it said.

Japanese tourists spent the most, on average at US$219 per person per day, while Chinese were second with US$212, and those from Hong Kong and Macau were third at US$202, the bureau said.

Visitors from South Korea, Southeast Asia, the US and Europe spent US$188, US$166, US$159 and US$148 per person per day respectively, the bureau said.

Based on purchased goods, Chinese tourists spent the most at US$105 per person per day; visitors from Hong Kong and Macau spent US$61, Southeast Asian tourists spent US$47, South Koreans spent US$40, Japanese spent US$39, visitors from the US spent US$21 and Europeans spend US$11, the data showed.

The government’s New Southbound Policy has been effective in diversifying the nation’s tourism sources, the bureau said, adding that the proportion of Chinese tourists has been falling over the past four years, while that of Southeast Asian tourists has been increasing.

Last year, a record 11 million tourists visited Taiwan, with the number of Southeast Asian visitors rapidly overtaking those from other countries, it said.

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