Over 1.3 Million Chinese Nationals Visited Taiwan In First 10 Months Of 2010
Retailers in popular Taiwanese tourist spots aren’t the only ones eagerly awaiting the lifting of travel restrictions on individual mainland Chinese tourists in the second quarter of next year. As Focus Taiwan reports today, small and medium-sized hotels in northern Taiwan — the main destination for most of the 1.34 million Chinese nationals who traveled to Taiwan in the first 10 months of this year — expect booming business next year from Chinese FITs (Free Independent Travelers).
Currently, mainland Chinese are restricted to visiting Taiwan in tour groups — though for many first-time outbound Chinese, particularly older individuals, a tour group remains the preferred mode of travel.
Upon the lifting of restrictions, which will first apply to business travelers from Beijing and Shanghai, the greater ease of travel and ability to choose hotels and activities is expected to boost boutique hotels and individual retailers.
From Focus Taiwan:
The hotels in Taipei that focus on receiving Chinese tour groups are very likely to maintain their business once individual tourists come, because their names are already known to travel agencies and travelers from China, [Bright Lee, company communications manager of Evertrust Rehouse Co.] noted.
On the other hand, hotels in Taoyuan, the site of Taiwan’s main international airport, have been a top choice for Chinese tour groups since the country opened its doors to Chinese visitors in 2008.
In addition to Taoyuan’s convenient location, the lower hotel prices are also a reason for its popularity, Lee said.
A total of 135,334 Chinese visitors stayed at hotels in a special art and culture district of Taoyuan in the first nine months of the year, the largest number of all the hotels in Taiwan, Lee went on, citing statistics released by the Tourism Bureau.
Hotels in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli in northern Taiwan saw the biggest surge in the number of visitors from China, Lee added.
Despite being restricted to tour groups, Chinese nationals accounted for the largest percentage of tourists in Taiwan this year, surpassing the long-time leader, Japan.