While the nation’s top tourist spots remain popular choices among international travelers, an increasing number of foreign visitors are favoring independent travel and looking for more unique experiences, industry observers said.
Visitors to Taiwan differ on their focus depending on what country they come from, said Sandy Chen (陳容歆), a YouTube strategic partner for the Greater China area.
For example, Japanese tourists look for unique eating experiences in Taiwan, while South Korean visitors favor unique accommodations, she said.
Photo courtesy of New Taipei City Government Tourism and Travel Department
International travelers in general visit top tourist destinations such as New Taipei City’s Jioufen (九份) and Nantou County’s Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), OwlTing marketing platform manager Liao Kuei-tsen (廖桂岑) said.
Japanese visitors, in particular, like to visit places of cultural or historical significance, such as Taipei’s historic Dadaocheng (大稻埕) area, while South Korean visitors seek out something different, such as horseback riding in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水), she said.
Collectively, the top five travel destinations for Japanese and South Korean visitors were: Jioufen, Dadaocheng, Sun Moon Lake, Hualien County’s Taroko Gorge (太魯閣峽谷) and Taitung County, she said.
Travel booking platform Klook said that while some tourist spots like the Taipei 101 skyscraper are popular among Southeast Asian and East Asian travelers, others like Jioufen and New Taipei City’s Yehliu Geopark (野柳公園) are particularly popular among Japanese and South Koreans.
Japanese and South Korean travelers also prefer tour services conducted in their language, which differ from Southeast Asian travelers, Klook said.
Most travelers from the US and Europe visit Taiwan for business, Singapore-based Airbnb public affairs manager Marvin Ma (馬培治) said.
One of the greatest challenges facing Taiwan’s tourism industry is how to change the mindset of people outside of Asia, who think of Taiwan more as a high-tech hub, rather than a tourism destination, he said.
International events help, as they attract large numbers of visitors to Taiwan, he said, citing the annual Pride Parade as an example, which draws large international crowds to Taipei.
Taiwan should consider more niche marketing, which Airbnb does in South Korea by targeting visitors interested in K-pop or South Korean beauty products, he said.
Some of the travel experiences the company has helped coordinate in South Korea include opportunities to meet the makeup artists of stars and visit recording studios and cut a record of themselves singing K-pop songs, he said.
“These aren’t things Airbnb created; it’s locals in that country discovering what they uniquely offer,” he said.
Taiwan is culturally important in the Mandarin-speaking community and could leverage this with activities focused on things like its folk religions and entertainment industry, he said.
Many second and third-generation Taiwanese in Southeast Asia rely on English-language materials to understand Taiwan’s folk religions and deities, but information in English is lacking, he said.
Travelers often avoid visiting a place if they cannot find clear or accurate information, or if no information is available in their language, Klook said.
However, the situation is improving with the emergence of online booking platforms, it said.
Although many of Taiwan’s tourist sports are accessible only by bus, accurate bus information is still lacking, Taiwanese travel vlogger Aiky said.
Aiky focuses his content on teaching visitors how to get to tourist spots by filming the process of walking to bus stops from train stations, showing which bus to take and how to walk to their destination after alighting from the bus.
The content has already earned him more than 8 million unique views on average on his videos, he said.
Infrequent bus services to popular spots in some places, such as Tainan, is also a problem, he said, adding that this is an area that local governments should focus on to improve tourism.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb