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Taiwan welcomes 4 millionth visitor in 2023

09/13/2023 05:46 PM
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Kim Yewon poses for a photo with her mother and younger sister at Taipei Songshan Airport Wednesday. CNA photo Sep. 13, 2023
Kim Yewon poses for a photo with her mother and younger sister at Taipei Songshan Airport Wednesday. CNA photo Sep. 13, 2023

Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) A woman from South Korea's Jeju Island who arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday became the country's 4 millionth inbound visitor this year, and also won a lucky draw for a prize worth NT$5,000 (US$156), the Tourism Bureau said.

Kim Yewon arrived with her mother and younger sister at Taipei's Songshan Airport Wednesday for a four-day trip, and was greeted by officials including Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and Transport Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材).

Kim, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time, said she was excited to try Taiwanese food and visit places like Ximending and Yongkang Street in Taipei, as well as Yehliu and Jiufen on the north coast.

The bureau did not say whether Kim chose to receive the NT$5,000 on a stored value card which can be spent on a variety of items, or vouchers which have to be spent on accommodation, when she registered for the lucky draw before traveling to Taiwan.

Speaking to reporters, Cheng said the post-COVID recovery of Taiwan's tourism sector is continuing to gather momentum, putting it on track to meet the government's goal of welcoming 6 million foreign visitors this year.

Wang, meanwhile, said flight totals were back to around 80 percent of their pre-pandemic level at Songshan Airport and 70 percent at Taoyuan International Airport.

So far this year, Taiwan has welcomed over 770,000 tourists from Hong Kong and Macau, 530,000 from Japan and 430,000 from South Korea, according to Tourism Bureau statistics.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Matthew Mazzetta)

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