Taipei was listed as the 15th most visited destination among 132 cities surveyed in the 2016 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released recently by the New York-based financial services firm.
In 2015, around 7.35 million international travelers visited the northern Taiwan metropolis. The three leading cities were Bangkok with 21.47 million, London with 19.88 million and Paris with 18.03 million.
Regarding total visits to cities in the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan lagged behind Singapore's 12.11 million, Kuala Lumpur's 12.02 million, Tokyo's 11.7 million, Seoul's 10.2 million and Hong Kong's 8.37 million.
Taiwan had an annual visitor growth rate of 7.2 percent, placing it in fourth place behind Tokyo at 12.2 percent, Seoul at 10.2 percent and Bangkok at 9.6 percent.
A further breakdown of the statistics shows that 86.6 percent of visitors came to Taipei for nonbusiness purposes. Just under 34 percent of all visitor expenditures went toward shopping.
Averaging US$1,306 in visitor expenditures, Taipei trailed only Dubai at US$2,050 and New York at US$1,453 in the world. It topped all other Asian cities on the list, including Seoul at US$1,206, Tokyo at US$1,152, Singapore at US$1,036 and Hong Kong at US$817.
A key sector under strategic promotion by the Republic of China (Taiwan) government, tourism in the country has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with the annual visitor number topping 10 million for the first time in 2015.
To further promote Taiwan as a travel destination, the government is introducing new visa regulations and other measures to attract more tourists, especially from Southeast Asia and India, according to the Tourism Bureau.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)