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Kaohsiung still high on tourism despite fall in Chinese visitors

2017/11/05 18:26

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Kaohsiung, Nov. 5 (CNA) Despite a fall in visits by Chinese tour groups, Kaohsiung remains confident in the future of its tourism industry, the city's tourism chief said Sunday at the opening of a new luxury hotel.

Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau chief Tseng Tzu-wen (曾姿雯) acknowledged that some hotels in the city have shut down this year, but several new ones have been launched, including the NT$2 billion (US$66.236 million) Silks Club in Qianzhen District that formally opened on Sunday.

He said 13 hotels with a total of 550 rooms have closed in the city this year through October, but 19 hotels with a total of 1350 rooms have opened during the same period, resulting in a net increase of 800 rooms in Kaohsiung so far in 2017.

The Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau has also learned of investment and construction applications for two new hotels in the city's Zuoying District, further reflecting the growing potential of the city's tourism sector, Tseng said.

Though visits by Chinese tour groups have fallen, and total Chinese visitor arrivals in Taiwan in the first nine months of the year were down 31.2 percent from a year earlier, Tseng said visitors from Southeast Asia have helped pick up some of the slack.

But Tourism Bureau statistics show that China was still the main source of overseas guests in Kaohsiung tourist hotels in the first half of the year, followed by Japan and Hong Kong/Macau.

In July alone, Chinese visitors accounted for 39.7 percent of all overseas guests in major Kaohsiung hotels, compared with 23.5 percent for Japanese visitors, 6.8 percent for visitors from Hong Kong and Macau, and 6 percent for Asian visitors not including Singapore or Malaysia.

Domestic visitors accounted for 53.3 percent of all guests at those hotels, an indication of how important the domestic market remains despite concerns over the apparent decline in Chinese tourists.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who was also present at the opening ceremony, was also upbeat on the future of tourism in her city after being rated as the fifth best city in the world to visit in 2018 by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.

She also praised Silks Club, saying that because of hotels like it, Kaohsiung will gain even more international exposure.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and William Yen) Enditem/ls