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South Korea becomes Taiwan's fastest growing tourism source (update)

2015/11/29 14:46:16

Taiwan tour promotion at a trvale fair in Seoul in October. (Photo courtesy of the Tourism Bureau)

Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) Taiwan registered a record high of 8.477 million tourist arrivals in the first 10 months of the year, with the biggest increase seen in arrivals from South Korea, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).

The overall figure for the January-October period represented a rise of 4.67 percent year-on-year, while tourist arrivals from South Korea grew by an annual 23.5 percent, the ministry's data showed.

Arrivals from Hong Kong and Macao showed the second-biggest growth of 7.89 percent, according to the data.

The number of tourist arrivals from South Korea, Hong Kong and Macao, and China in the January-October period also hit record highs of 530,034, 1.231 million and 3.499 million, respectively, the ministry said.

The figures are part of an MOTC report that Transportation Minister Chen Chien-yu (陳建宇) will present to the Legislature's Transportation Committee on Monday, with the aim of improving the quality of Taiwan's tourism product and reducing the sector's reliance on Chinese tourists.

The ministry said it plans to attract more high-end tourists from Southeast Asia and China by developing a more friendly tourism environment and theme travel packages.

As part of its efforts to also improve the quality of Chinese tourism groups, the ministry is proposing revising the itineraries for low-end Chinese tour groups, which currently focus mainly on shopping, and implementing tourist traffic control at popular sites such as Taipei's National Palace Museum and the Alishan National Scenic Area in southern Taiwan.

The number of outbound travelers from China so far this year has reached 116.5 million and their overseas consumption is expected to show 16 percent annual growth for the full year, the ministry said.

It said it will continue its efforts to attract Chinese tourists to Taiwan by taking advantage of the similarities in culture, language and geography on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

(By C.C. Wang, Flor Wang and Jeffrey Wu)