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Incoming minister to promote Taiwan tourism at APEC meeting

2016/05/11 13:35:30

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) With Taiwan facing a decline in Chinese tourists, Transportation Minister-designate Ho-Chen Tan (賀陳旦) said Wednesday he will promote Taiwan as a good travel destination at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting later this month.

Ho-Chen, who will assume his duties as transportation minister May 20, will lead a Taiwanese delegation to attend the APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting slated for May 28-29 in Peru.

Asked by CNA about the recent decline in Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan, Ho-Chen said that when he reports on Taiwan's tourism at the APEC meeting he will mention that Taiwan is facing a decline in foreign visitor arrivals but will not single out Chinese tourists.

In addition, he will take the opportunity to promote Taiwan as a good choice for tourism among residents of APEC member countries, he said.

Ho-Chen said he also expects to hold bilateral talks with tourism officials from China and will discuss the development of tourism across the Taiwan Strait.

He argued, however, that Taiwan needs to do more to promote itself with foreigners and increase their understanding of Taiwan.

For example, he said, the Tourism Bureau should make greater efforts to help unique B&Bs and cultural attractions set up websites with information in English so that people who do not speak Chinese can learn more about these destinations.

In response to questions on his preparations for the APEC meeting, Ho-Chen told local media that he will use it as an opportunity to promote Taiwan's uniqueness and learn more about the development of the tourism industry in other countries.

Data from Taiwan's Tourism Bureau showed that in the two-week period from March 23 to April 5, the number of applications from Chinese tour groups to visit Taiwan fell 30 percent and the number of applications from independent travelers dropped about 15 percent.

Last year, over 4 million Chinese tourists visited Taiwan, a number that was almost evenly split between independent travelers and those in tour groups, Tourism Bureau data has showed.

A total of 10.43 million foreign nationals visited Taiwan in 2015.

(By Wang Shu-fen, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Elaine Hou)
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