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China top destination, source of visitors in 2013

TAIPEI--China is the top source of visitors to Taiwan, as well as the top destination for Taiwanese traveling overseas in 2013, data released by the Ministry of the Interior on Saturday showed.

Taiwan posted a record 8,016,280 arrivals of non-residents last year, and 50.62 percent of the visits were made by Chinese residents, including those from Hong Kong and Macau, according to the ministry.

Chinese visitors also posted the biggest increase in 2013, up 12.7 percent from the previous year, the ministry said.

The non-resident visitors include foreign nationals and Taiwanese nationals with no household registration in Taiwan, the latter of which only accounted for 0.11 percent of the total figure in 2013.

Japan followed with 1,421,550, or 17.73 percent, and the United States took the third place with 414,060, or 5.17 percent, the ministry data showed.

The majority of the visitors — 68.35 percent — came to Taiwan as tourists, while the second largest group among the visitors (11.57 percent) were business travelers, according to the ministry.

It also pointed out the number of visitors coming to Taiwan for medical reasons grew 71.25 percent to 41,639 in 2013, compared to the previous year.

On the other hand, China, including Hong Kong and Macau, was the top first destination of Taiwanese people traveling overseas in 2013, accounting for 50.90 percent of the 11,052,908 foreign trips taken, although the number dropped 2.86 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.

Japan was in the second place, as the initial stops of 21.23 percent of Taiwanese' overseas trips were there, due to the weaker Japanese yen, according to the ministry.

South Korea followed with 4.69 percent, the ministry added.

Meanwhile, the combined number of inbound and outbound travels rose 8.8 percent to 38,032,500 in 2013, and 74.68 percent of the trips were handled by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, according to the data.

Kaohsiung International Airport in southern Taiwan followed with 8.93 percent, and Taipei Songshan Airport came in a close third place with 7.85 percent, the ministry added.

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