Taipei City is the 10th most popular destination in Asia-Pacific as assessed by MasterCard Inc. in its latest annual survey of 171 cities, resorts and towns in 22 countries across the region, underscoring the metropolis's rising reputation as a world-class tourism hot spot.
According to the Asia-Pacific destinations index, which was released April 26 by the New York-based financial services company, Taipei trumped such high-profile locales as Bali, Shanghai and Sydney with 7.4 million international overnight arrivals in 2016. Japan, mainland China and Hong Kong are the city's three main sources of arrivals in that order.
Other destinations rounding out the top 10 are Bangkok, 19.3 million; Singapore, 13.1 million; Tokyo, 12.6 million; Seoul, 12.4 million; Kuala Lumpur, 11.3 million; Phuket in Thailand, 9.1 million; Hong Kong, 8.9 million; Pattaya in Thailand, 8.1 million; and Osaka, 7.4 million. The 171 destinations account for around 339 million international overnight arrivals, which is about 90 percent of the total for the 22 Asia-Pacific countries.
Taipei also outperformed in the total expenditure stakes, finishing fourth at US$9.9 billion. Its average minimum daily spend of US$208 per arrival placed it fifth behind Singapore, US$254; Beijing, US$242; Shanghai, US$234; and Hong Kong, US$211.
Outbound trips to Asia-Pacific destinations were another component of the index. Taiwan ranked third at 23.8 million, with Guangdong province in mainland China the most popular followed by Hokkaido and Tokyo in Japan.
Taiwan's tourism industry is going from strength to strength. The latest statistics from the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications reveal that the country recorded 10.6 million arrivals in 2016, up from 10.4 million in 2015 and 9.9 million in 2014. Of last year's number, 7.5 million visited for the purpose of pleasure.
The government is prioritizing development of the local tourism industry by way of diversifying its source markets. At present, passport holders from 48 countries enjoy visa-free privileges of either 30 or 90 days, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs working to further streamline Taiwan's visa application process.
Source: Taiwan Today