Quota for independent China tourists to go up


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan plans to increase the daily quota of independent Chinese tourists to Taiwan to 4,000 and streamline visa applications of people from Southeast Asia to increase visitor numbers, the country’s Tourism Bureau said yesterday.

Taiwan, which welcomed more than 8 million overseas visitors last year, has targeted 9 million foreign visitors and NT$400 billion (US$13.33 billion) in tourism revenues this year, and is counting on China and Southeast Asia for some of the growth.

Tourism Bureau Deputy Director Chang Hsi-tsung said the bureau hopes to lure more Chinese nationals to Taiwan by increasing the quota for Chinese traveling to Taiwan on their own rather than with tour groups to 4,000 per day, up from 3,000 at present, by the end of June.

It remains unclear, however, whether the quota adjustment will affect visitor numbers because an average of only about 1,400 independent Chinese travelers visited Taiwan per day in 2013.

The bureau will also promote Taiwan tourism in Southeast Asia, South Korea and the Middle East, focusing especially on Southeast Asia because visitor arrivals from the region reached 830,000 last year.

It hopes the region will be the fourth to contribute 1 million visitors to Taiwan per year, after China, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau.