Taiwan eyes more big-spending Chinese tourists
CNATAIPEI--Taiwan's Tourism Bureau said Friday that it will focus it efforts on attracting more Chinese tourists, particularly quality tour groups, to Taiwan this year.
March 3, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The bureau said that the type of Chinese tourists it will focus on attracting will be sophisticated ones who will spend more than the typical tourists.
It cited as an example a group of 262 tourists from eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu who arrived in Taiwan late February mainly for the Lantern Festival and are scheduled to leave on Saturday.
During their visit to Taiwan, the tourists stayed in a five-star hotel and traveled to several scenic spots and tourist destinations around the island.
The bureau said that it has reached an agreement with local travel agencies to give priority to high-quality tourist groups when granting entry permits for Chinese travelers to visit Taiwan.
This move follows several reports in local media of Chinese tourists behaving poorly at scenic attractions, including arguing with each other, crossing into cordoned off areas to take pictures, and taking items they shouldn't take from tourist spots.
The Tourism Bureau on Friday also said it has asked travel agencies to reduce the number of stores included in the tourists' travel plans with the aim of upgrading the quality of Taiwan tours.
The worry is that competition among tour operators will cause them to cut prices and hurt the quality of tours to suffer, which in turn hurt the reputation of Taiwan tourism. This includes putting Chinese tourists in old hotels, feeding them low-quality food and taking them on too many shopping trips.
According to data released by the bureau, the number of Chinese visitors to Taiwan increased to 2,586,428 in 2012, up from 972,123 in 2009.
On the other hand, despite the European debt crisis, the number of tourists from Europe to Taiwan has also been on the rise. Taiwan received 218,045 European visitors in 2012, a growth of 2.78 percent from 2011, data showed.
This year, the Tourism Bureau's promotional theme is “Time for Taiwan” and it has launched a “Time for Celebration” program by offering information about 42 festival activities to be held throughout the year.