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Growth of visitor arrivals to Taiwan double world average: officials

2012/01/09 23:20:35

Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) The number of visitors arriving in Taiwan last year grew more than 9 percent, more than twice the world average, the Tourism Bureau said Monday.

Compared with a global growth rate of 4-4.5 percent, Taiwan's total visitor arrivals (including tourists, business travelers, students, and people visiting Taiwan to be with their families) grew by 9.34 percent to 6,087,484 last year, bureau officials said.

The record number of international travelers injected NT$300 billion (US$9.95 billion) into Taiwan's economy, officials said.

Total arrivals to Taiwan grew at a far faster clip than the world average despite events at home that could have derailed inbound tourism, such as a train accident on Alishan and a food contamination scare in May.

International events, including the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the eurozone debt crisis, and floods in Thailand also did not prevent a rising number of travelers from coming to Taiwan, officials said.

The Tourism Bureau attributed the stellar growth to its marketing strategies, which customized tour packages to target different customer segments.

Arrivals from Singapore grew at the fastest clip of any country -- by 24.14 percent to 299,599 in 2011. Inbound arrivals from Japan grew 19.87 percent to 1,294,758 while those from South Korea grew 11.99 percent to 242,902.

The bureau said it would continue to roll out new programs with signature Taiwanese characteristics to draw more visitors, and especially leisure travelers, featuring culture, shopping, local food, eco-tourism, among others.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Scully Hsiao)