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adroth

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Taiwan sees fewer tourists as Chinese stay away
« on: May 21, 2017, 04:00:05 PM »
Taiwan sees fewer tourists as Chinese stay away

Increases from other areas including Southeast Asia are not enough to offset the steep fall in Chinese visitors
By Agence France-Presse
Published Wed, May 17, 2017 1:10 AM

https://www.rappler.com/business/170136-taiwan-fewer-tourists-chinese-stay-away

TOURISM WOES. Thousands of tourism industry workers take to the streets in Taiwan on September 12, 2016, demanding that the government address a slump in visitors from China. File photo by Sam Yeh/AFP

TAIPEI, Taiwan Visitor numbers to Taiwan fell in the 1st quarter of 2017, dragged down by a 42% plunge in arrivals from China as relations worsen across the strait.

The number of Chinese tourists to the island has dropped since Beijing-skeptic President Tsai Ing-wen took office last May, with speculation China is turning off the taps as a pressure tactic.

Beijing which sees self-ruled Taiwan as still part of its territory is wary of Tsai's party, which traditionally advocates independence from China.

The January-March quarter saw the total number of visitors fall 10% to 2.54 million from last year, according to data from the Tourism Bureau.

Increases from other areas including Southeast Asia were not enough to offset the steep fall in Chinese visitors, which plummeted to 659,575 in the quarter from 1.14 million.

< Edited >

Tsai has been pushing a strategy to expand ties with Southeast Asian countries, including tourism, in a bid to reduce reliance on China.

But critics say the Southeast Asian market is too small to expect it to catch up anytime soon.

Chinese visitors accounted for about 33% of the total in 2016, the biggest group, while those from Southeast Asia including Malaysia and Singapore made up 15%.

< Edited >