Taiwan’s tourism inflow is stagnating and the main reason is the decreasing number of Chinese tourists. In August, 863,540 people from abroad visited the island. This represents a 3.4% decrease compared to August 2015.
According to the island’s tourism bureau, the number of Chinese tourists in August decreased by 32.4% compared to last year. This accounts to 248,538 people, out of which 190,000 were tourists. A significant downfall compared to 296,000 tourists last year.
Even the increase of visitors from Japan and the Republic of Korea did not balance the loss. It is reported that both countries’ inflow to Taiwan increased by more than 30% to 187,000 and 78,000 respectively.
It is widely believed that the decline started as a result of Tsai Ing-wen taking office, who is a great opponent of the 1992 Consensus. This also includes the one-China policy. The decline of Chinese inflow is worrying many, and action is being taken on the island.
On September 12, about 10,000 people from the tourism sector held their first ever demonstration in downtown Taipei. Their main demand was help and support of the stagnating industry.
In the meantime, it seems that Chinese tourists are changing their travel preferences. According to the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) more than 120 million Chinese tourists made overseas trips in 2015. This represents a 10.09% increase compared to the year before.
Many of these tourists chose Tokyo and Paris as their destinations. The WTCF reported that these two cities were the most preferred short-distance and long-distance destinations among the Chinese. Other than that, the USA, Britain, Japan and South Korea all registered a significant increase in Chinese tourists in 2015.
Chinese travelers also seem to be big fans of huge spending sprees abroad. The WTCF continued in their report stating that Chinese tourists spent $215 billion during their overseas trips in 2015. This number accounts to 17% of overall consumption of international customers.