A visitor poses on a platform overlooking Taiwan’s largest cascading waterfall in New Taipei City’s Shihfen Waterfall Park in an undated photograph. / Photo courtesy of the New Taipei City Tourism Bureau
Taiwan welcomed a record 1.101 million foreign visitors in April, up 24.72 percent from a year earlier, Tourism Bureau statistics showed, the first time the number has exceed 1 million.
Visitor arrivals from several markets — including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia — reached records for the month, the data showed.
Taiwan welcomed 49,894 visitors from the Philippines, the most recorded in a single month.
Compared with a year earlier, visitors from China increased by 79,605, more than any other market, followed by Hong Kong and Macau (60,770 collectively), Japan (39,226), South Korea (13,659), Thailand (8,162) and the Philippines (5,043), the statistics showed.
Arrivals from Russia grew by the largest percentage — 74 — year-on-year, followed by Oceania (58.74 percent), which the bureau defines as Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands, Tahiti and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Compared with April last year, arrivals from Macau and Hong Kong, which had remained relatively stagnant in the first quarter of this year, grew by 49.57 percent collectively to 183,353, the highest rate of any market in Asia.
Tourism in April benefited from noticeably weaker efforts by Beijing to limit travel to Taiwan, as well as Japan’s Golden Week — a 10-day national holiday that began on April 27, Huang Cheng-tsung, an associate professor at Providence University’s Department of Tourism in Taichung, said yesterday.
Huang attributed the growth in visitor arrivals from Hong Kong and the Philippines to the late Easter holiday this year.
Visitor arrivals from the two markets, which observe the Christian holiday, fell in March, but grew in April, he said.
From January to April, Taiwan recorded 4,004,804 foreign visitors, a 10.64 percent increase from the same period last year, he said, adding that factors such as the US-China trade dispute, the depreciation of the New Taiwan dollar and the appreciation of the Japanese yen all contributed to the trend.
Visitor numbers could top 12 million this year, he said.
Last year, more than 11 million foreigners visited Taiwan, making it the fourth consecutive year that Taiwan has drawn more than 10 million foreign visitors.
Unusually, outbound travel between January and April grew at a slower rate than inbound travel, increasing 2.75 percent compared with the same period last year, the data showed.
In April, 1,415,406 Taiwanese went abroad, a 5.91 percent decline compared with a year earlier.
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