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China largest source of visitors to Taiwan in 2013: MOTC

2014/02/07 17:21:29

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) Almost 3 million Chinese tourists visited Taiwan in 2013, comprising the largest group of visitors to Taiwan, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Friday.

Although visitor arrivals from China have slowed down since the introduction of new guidelines for tour groups from China last year, Chinese nationals accounted for 36 percent of the total 8 million visitors to Taiwan in 2013, the MOTC said.

The 2.87 million Chinese visitors to Taiwan last year represented an 11 percent annual increase, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, 89 percent of the visitors to Taiwan in 2013 were from the Asian region, with the number showing double-digit annual growth for five years in a row, according to the MOTC.

The number of Japanese tourists, however, fell 0.8 percent to 1.42 million last year due to the depreciation of the yen, but Japan remained the second largest source of visitors to Taiwan, the ministry said.

It said Hong Kong and Macau together accounted for 1.18 million tourists to Taiwan, an annual increase of 16.4 percent, while the number of travelers from Canada, Australia, Italy and Netherland reached new highs in 2013.

The United States, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Germany and France were among the top 10 sources of visitor arrivals last year, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, 11.05 million Taiwanese traveled abroad in 2013, which was a record high after four consecutive years of growth, according to the MOTC.

The major destinations were China, Japan, and Hong Kong in that order, attracting a total 67 percent of the travelers from Taiwan, the ministry said.

Some 3.07 million Taiwanese visited China last year, averaging 8,417 per day, but the number represented a 2.1 percent annual decrease, the ministry said, attributing the decline to an outbreak of H7N9 flu in China.

The number of visitors to Japan surged 50 percent to 2.35 million last year, according the ministry.

(By Angela Tsai and Maia Huang)