Taiwan visitor numbers to top record 5 mil.

The China Post news staff

Taiwan is expected to welcome its 5 millionth visitor of the year by the end of November, marking a new milestone in the country’s history and recovery of the “main street economy,” Premier Wu Den-yih said yesterday. Speaking at the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Wu said that Taiwan will hit the “dream number” of the 5 million mark, which is a 60-year record, probably by Nov. 29 or 30.

By the end of the year the total number of tourists to Taiwan will reach between 5.3 million to 5.5 million, proving Taiwan’s attractiveness to foreign visitors, Wu said. After Canada granted Taiwan nationals visa-waiver privileges Monday, the country is expected to receive similar treatment from 41 more nations in the future including the European Union member states such as France and Germany. The success of making these visa-waiver agreements shows that Taiwan has achieved a certain degree of international recognition and credibility and is also a testament to Taiwanese tourists’ high buying power, Wu pointed out. The number of Taiwanese who travel abroad in this year is expected to reach 9 million, Wu said. It reflects a recovery of main street economics thanks to which the people now possess more spare money and time to travel overseas, he added.