Taiwan tourism revenue soars to new high in Q2

A tourist looks through a pair of binoculars to get a glimpse of the volcanic Turtle islet off the scenic northern coast of Taiwan during a pleasure cruise in this undated photograph. The island, shaped like a tortoise with a head, shell and a long tail, lies 10 kilometers (6 miles) of Ilan, a two-hour drive along the north eastern coastal highway. With greater awareness of their environment, Taiwanese are working to save this beautiful subtropical island from decades of neglect and damage caused by its frenetic pursuit of economic growth. (AP Photo/Jerome Favre)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s tourism revenue reached a quarterly record of US$3.96 billion in the second quarter of the year, the country’s central bank reported Tuesday.

Bank officials attributed the new quarterly high mainly to a large growth in tourist arrivals and an increase in spending by visitors.

Among foreign visitors to Taiwan, Japanese tourists are the biggest spenders, averaging US$219.35 per capita per day, followed by Chinese tourists with US$211.68, the officials said.

In the period April to June, the number of tourist arrivals from China increased 44.2 percent year-on-year, those from Hong Kong/Macau grew 20.4 percent, and those from Japan 14.5 percent, the officials said.

Arrivals from South Korea increased 10 percent, while those from Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand showed two-digit growth, according to the bank officials.

However, it is feared that China’s recent ban on independent visits by residents of 47 cities to Taiwan would adversely affect Taiwan’s tourism in the fourth quarter, the central bank officials said.

The bank also released second-quarter data that showed a current account surplus of US$7.56 billion, a US$13.7 billion increase in its financial account assets, and an increase of US$2.45 billion in its reserve account.

By Flor Wang and Pan Tzi-yu