Mar 25, 2013

Taiwan: Tourism Industry Made Tremendous Progress In 2012

Taiwan’s tourism industry made a great progress in 2012 thanks to measures adopted by the government to increase the appeal of Taiwan as a tourist destination. 

Below is an article published by Taiwan Today:

Taiwan’s tourism industry made tremendous progress in 2012, with visitor arrival numbers hitting a record high and sector growth topping global averages, according to the ROC Council for Economic Planning and Development March 22.

“Despite the sluggish economy at home and abroad, Taiwan’s tourism industry continued to power ahead, thanks to a series of government policies promoting the local sector,” a CEPD official said.

According to the official, measures adopted by the government in the past four years have greatly increased the appeal of Taiwan as a tourist destination.

“These include additional international flights to the country, regulatory easing of visa applications and continued opening of mainland Chinese visits, as well as streamlined immigration procedures,” the official said.

Citing the World Tourism Barometer released in January by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the official said Taiwan’s 2012 foreign visitor arrivals grew 20.1 percent to a record high 7 million, compared to average growth of 6.8 percent and 3.8 percent for Asia Pacific and the world, respectively.

Between 2009 and 2011, the country’s international tourism receipts grew an average of 23.2 percent per year, topping most other major markets in the region such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

In the 2013 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index released earlier this month by the World Economic Forum, Taiwan moved up four places to 33rd among 140 economies surveyed by the biennial report. The WEF cited improvements in regulations, safety and security as some of the reasons behind the advancement.

Taiwan has much room for improvement in terms of environmental sustainability, natural resources and tourism infrastructure, the report also pointed out.

In response, the CEPD will launch a raft of promotional campaigns to attract more visitors from emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and Muslim-majority countries.

“Other government initiatives include allowing more individual mainland Chinese tourists to come to Taiwan, and promoting the country as a destination for cruises, exhibitions and incentive tours,” the official said.

Another CEPD project focusing on upgrading local hotels will see Taiwan boast 550 star-rated hotels and 1,000 quality bed-and-breakfast facilities by 2016, when visitor arrivals are expect to hit the 10-million mark.