The National Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was the most visited tourist site in Taipei this year, according to a weekly report released by the city government’s Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics last week.
The report said that between January and last month, Taipei’s 29 main tourist destinations attracted a total of 40.54 million visitors, with the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall accounting for the bulk at 33.09 percent, or 13.41 million tourists — double the figure from the same period last year.
Rounding out the list of the five most visited spots were the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall with 5.48 million visitors, the National Palace Museum with 3.61 million, Taipei Zoo with 2.46 million and the Taipei 101 Observatory with 1.85 million.
Commenting on the report, a Taiwanese tour guide, who requested anonymity, said that having a spacious parking lot to accommodate sightseeing buses was a must for a tourist spot to make it to the top five.
“If tourists cannot get on or off the buses easily at a specific site, it would affect travel agencies’ willingness to arrange a trip to that location and thus the number of tourists visiting the site,” he said.
The guide attributed the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall’s popularity to its historical context — Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) being the founding father of the Republic of China — its wide, open space, and its proximity to other attractions, such as the Taipei 101, Taipei City Hall and the Xinyi District (信義) shopping area.
“The memorial hall is also in the vicinity of the Taipei City Council, which boasts scores of well-known restaurants on the ground floor and offers convenient dining in the area,” the guide said.
“It is these advantages that have helped the National Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall double its visitor numbers this year, giving it a large lead over the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall,” he added.
The report also showed that occupancy rates at the city’s international tourist hotels and tourist hotels as of September were 75.52 percent and 78.01 percent, up 3.14 percentage points and 4.42 percentage points respectively from the same period last year.
The nation uses plum blossoms to indicate the level of service quality. Of the city’s 382 hotels, 25 are classified as international tourist hotels (4 to 5 plum blossoms), 14 as tourist hotels (3 plum blossoms) and 343 as ordinary hotels.