New Southbound Policy helps boost Taiwan tourism: Cabinet

Visitor arrivals from Australia, New Zealand and countries in Southeast and South Asia increased 23 percent year-on-year in November, a development that the Cabinet said Friday was a direct result of the government’s “New Southbound Policy.”

Citing Tourism Bureau statistics, the Cabinet said in a statement that in November tourist arrivals from the 18 targeted countries in the New Southbound Policy was 195,419, a 23 percent increase from the same month last year.

Visitor arrivals from all the countries in the New Southbound Policy, except Nepal, increased in November, with arrivals from Cambodia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam recoding more than 90 percent year-on-year growth, the Cabinet said.

In the period January to November, visitor arrivals from Cambodia showed an 85.4 percent annual increase to 3,111, while arrivals from Thailand grew 52.1 percent to 164,021, from Brunei 51.2 percent to 3,795, and from India 38.2 percent to 30,986, the Cabinet said.

Overall, Taiwan recorded 9.65 million visitor arrivals in the January to November period, up 2.5 percent year-on-year, the Cabinet said.

Arrivals from the 18 targeted countries in the New Southbound Policy grew 13.6 percent year-on-year to 1.53 million, according to the Cabinet.

Introduced by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the New Southbound Policy seeks to promote ties with Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand.

Taiwan is seeking to diversify its sources of tourism as the number of Chinese visitors has been dropping amid strained relations with China.

Cross-Taiwan Strait ties have cooled since Tsai took office in May, mainly due to her refusal to heed Beijing’s calls to recognize the “1992 consensus” as the sole political foundation for cross-strait exchanges.

In the period January to Dec. 27, tourist arrivals from China declined 18.5 percent year-on-year, with the number of Chinese visitors in tour groups falling 29.9 percent, according to government figures.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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