Taiwan records 11 million foreign visitors for first time
Penghu County Government 2019-01-02 181
Taiwan welcomed its 11 millionth foreign visitor of 2018 Dec. 30 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, marking the first time it has reached the milestone and underscoring the effectiveness of government initiatives to promote the country overseas.
Japanese doctor Shinobu Nishikawa was greeted with gifts prepared by the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications including airline tickets, coupons for free stays at several luxury hotels and a laptop. A frequent visitor to Taiwan, Nishikawa was traveling with his family and planned to tour the historic mountain town of Jiufen in New Taipei City, Sun Moon Lake in the central county of Nantou, as well as the southern cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan.
According to the bureau, it has focused on encouraging foreign tourists to visit destinations in central and southern Taiwan by placing billboards and advertisements on public transportation systems abroad as well as helping overseas travel businesses explore locations in the country.
Tourism Bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui said the government will continue to foster a welcoming environment that offers smart services and unique experiences. The four-year Tourism 2020 initiative that designates a theme each year has helped deepen collaboration between the public and private sectors to offer better quality trips, Chou added.
Taiwan has also received international recognition as an environmentally friendly tourist destination, the bureau said. Netherlands-headquartered nonprofit Green Destinations listed Nanliao in outlying Penghu County, Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area and Pinglin District in New Taipei among its Top 100 Sustainable Destinations of 2018.
Taiwan welcomed 10.74 million visitors in 2017, with China, New Southbound Policy target countries and Japan the top three sources, in that order, according to bureau statistics. (CPY-E)