Foreign national visits up 13% in first seven months of 2019

Taipei-Foreign nationals made nearly 7 million visits to Taiwan from January to July this year, up 12.85 percent from the same period a year earlier, Taiwan's Tourism Bureau said Monday.

During the first seven months, foreign travelers made more than 6.96 million visits to Taiwan, a 793,070 increase compared with the same period in 2018, according to a press release issued by the bureau.

Compared with a year earlier, visitors from China increased by 29.95 percent or 460,852 visits, more than any other market; followed by a 10.11 percent increase from South Korea, 8.81 percent from Japan and 7.38 percent from Hong Kong and Macau combined, the statistics showed.

Visitors from countries covered by the New Southbound Policy, 18 countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand, made 59,183 more visits to Taiwan during the period, a 4.28 percent increase compared with a year ago, it added.

The New Southbound Policy was launched by President Tsai Ing-wen (???) in 2016 with the goal of reducing Taiwan's economic dependence on China and building stronger links with South and Southeast Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

As part of its New Southbound policy, Taiwan has since 2016 allowed travelers from the Philippines, Thailand and Brunei 14-day visa-free privileges, while nationals from Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos receive conditional visa-free treatment.

Meanwhile, Taiwan offers visa-free entry of up to 90 days to visitors from Australia, New Zealand, and visa-free stay of up to 30 days to Singapore and Malaysia.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel