Fall in Chinese visitors impacts on Taiwan’s tourism income

A fall in Chinese visitors to Taiwan continued to impose an adverse impact on the country's balance of tourism service payment for the second quarter of this year, according to the central bank.

Citing data, the central bank said that Taiwan's second quarter balance of tourism service payment recorded a deficit of US$671 million, marking the second consecutive quarter a deficit was recorded. The second quarter's deficit was higher than the US$202 million recorded in the first quarter.

During the April-June period, the central bank said, the number of Chinese visitors to Taiwan fell 6.3 percent, while the number of total foreign arrivals rose 2.2 percent.

In the three-month period, the number of South Korean visitors rose 33.5 percent, the number of visitors from the Americas grew 7.7 percent, and the number of European visitors rose 4.6 percent, the bank data showed.

Despite the increase in the total foreign arrivals, the deficit seen in the second quarter's tourism service payment rose US$333 million from a year earlier because the average daily consumption of foreign visitors trended lower, the central bank said.

The central bank said the number of group Chinese visitors to Taiwan fell 21.5 percent in the second quarter. Chinese tour groups boasted a higher consumption power, so the drop in their arrivals dragged down Taiwan's tourism income in the quarter.

In the second quarter, the current account, which mainly measures a country's merchandise and service exports, recorded a surplus of US$17.13 billion, up US$1.36 billion or 8.6 percent from a year earlier on the back of an increase in merchandise trade and in returns of direct overseas investments and foreign exchange investments, the central bank said.

The central bank said that Taiwan registered an outflow of US$15.4 billion in financial account, which measures the flow of direct investment and portfolio investments, in the second quarter. It was the 24th consecutive quarter for Taiwan to record a financial account outflow.

The latest financial account outflow reflected an increase in portfolio investments by residents here, and a rise in bond and securities investments by the local insurance sector during the quarter, the central bank said. But the increase in foreign direct investments and foreign holdings in local equities remained minimal in the quarter, the central bank added.

It said that a country like Taiwan, which records a surplus in current account, tends to see an outflow in financial accounts. The bank named several other countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Germany, which faced a similar situation.

Source: Focus Taiwan