Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 21 December 2015
The number of overseas visitors to Taiwan is expected to go over the 10 million mark this year for the first time in history, according to the country's Tourism Bureau.
According to the latest statistics, 8.47 million overseas visitors had arrived in Taiwan in the first 10 months of the year, up 4.67 percent from the same period last year.
The tourists will add US$13.62 billion to Taiwan's tourism-related businesses this year, the bureau estimated, with airlines, hotels, travel agencies, tour buses and specialty stores the biggest beneficiaries.
Though the number of arrivals will grow, total spending will fall in U.S. dollar terms from US$14.60 billion in 2014 because of the depreciation of the Taiwan dollar against the greenback, a shorter average length of stay and the greater use of independent budget travel, a bureau official said.
Despite a global economic downturn this year, visitor arrivals continued to increase from around the world and especially Asia with the help of the government's aggressive marketing and promotion of Taiwan tourism, the bureau official said.
Overall visitor arrivals from Asia were up 4.94 percent in the first 10 months of 2015, with the biggest increase seen in visitors from South Korea, up 23.5 percent from a year earlier.
China has remained Taiwan's biggest source of tourists, with nearly 3.5 million Chinese nationals visiting Taiwan in the January-October period.
Unless the number of Chinese visitors plunges suddenly in December ahead of Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 16, 2016, it should break the 4 million mark in 2015 and account for about 40 percent of total visitor arrivals.
Tourist arrivals from Japan are expected to exceed 1.5 million this year while those from Hong Kong and Macau should exceed 1.3 million, according to the data.
Chi-wei Chang (email@example.com)