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Talk of the Day -- Most Chinese tourists want to revisit Taiwan

2014/04/24 18:07:45

Taipei, April 24 (CNA) Over 90 percent of independent Chinese travelers who have been to Taiwan want to come back and over 50 percent plan to revisit the island within a year, citing their love for its rich folk culture, natural scenery and food, according to a recent survey by U.S.-based marketing researcher AC Nielsen.

Following are excerpts from a United Daily News report on the survey, which studied the shopping behavior, average incomes and top destinations of Chinese independent travelers.

The survey found that the average monthly income of Chinese coming to Taiwan on the Free Independent Traveler (FIT) program stood at over 18,500 Chinese yuan (US$2,964), higher than the annual income of NT$500,000 (US$16,520) required of such visitors by the Taiwanese authorities.

Another finding was that compared with those from China's first-tier cities, visitors from the second- and third-tier cities not only have higher salaries but spend more during their stays in Taiwan.

For instance, those from the less-developed cities of Qingdao and Suzhou earn an average of 19,726 yuan per month, compared with those from Beijing and Shanghai who on average make 18,520 yuan per month.

Tourists from the second- and third-tier cities also spend 14 percent more money during their stays in Taiwan than those from the first-tier cities, according to the survey. The former spend an average of 15,252 yuan during a weeklong stay in Taiwan, excluding money spent on plane tickets.

Those from the second- and third-tier cities were also found to spend an average of 6,476 yuan on shopping, 21.7 percent higher than those from the first-tier cities, who spend an average of 5,321 yuan.

The spending habits of Chinese tourists tend toward local specialties, souvenirs, and arts and crafts.

Commenting on the differences in shopping behavior, Lee Chia-yin, general manager of local travel agency Richmond Tours, said tourists from the second- and third-tier cities tend to spend more on shopping because they have fewer chances to go abroad, so that when they do, they spend more heavily than people from the bigger cities.

In contrast, tourists from the first-tier cities have more convenient transportation links and travel overseas twice each year on average, Lee said.

The top three destinations in Taiwan for such visitors are the National Palace Museum, the Taipei 101 skyscraper and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. People from the first-tier cities also enjoy the bustling Ximending shopping district, while those from second- and third-tier cities also love the rich hot spring culture in suburban Taipei's Beitou District.

The survey was conducted online March 7-18 among 1,009 tourists from the 26 Chinese cities whose residents are allowed to travel to Taiwan independent of tour groups.

(By Scully Hsiao)