Taipei, July 4 (CNA) Despite Taiwan's record-high foreign visitor arrivals in 2017, its inbound tourism revenue fell almost 8 percent from the previous year to US$12.3 billion, the Tourism Bureau said Wednesday.
The 7.92 percent annual drop in revenue from international tourism was due mainly to a decline in the consumption power of tourists from China and Japan, the major sources of overseas visitors to Taiwan, the bureau said, citing a survey.
In 2017, arrivals from China and Japan were 2.7 million and 1.9 million, respectively, but the average daily spending by Chinese tourists dropped by US$14.05 per person, while that of Japanese visitors fell by US$27.37, according to the bureau.
In the case of tourists from China, their spending declined because of their country's tourism and sumptuary laws, which were implemented to restrict shopping tours and limit expenditure on food and personal items, the bureau said.
Meanwhile, fewer Japanese travelers were choosing luxury hotels in Taiwan, the bureau said, adding that the cost of group tours from Japan also dropped last year.
It said, however, that buying power increased among South Korean visitors and those from countries targeted under the Taiwan government's New Southbound Policy- Southeast and South Asia nations, Australia and New Zealand.
According to the Tourism Bureau, visitors' daily spending last year was highest among Japanese tourists, averaging US$214.05, followed by South Korea (US$194.58), China (US$184.38), Hong Kong/Macau (US$183.92) and the United States (US$155.67).
The survey also found that Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake in the central area, and Taroko Gorge in the east were the country's three most popular tourist destinations, in that order.
Visitor arrivals to Taiwan in 2017 totaled 10.74 million, the highest number ever recorded.