Taiwan is currently enjoying its busiest period ever in terms of inbound tourism. More tourists have been arriving than ever and records are falling on a daily basis. The number of Taiwanese tourists in Macau and Hong Kong has, however, dropped.
The opening of a direct cross air connection between Taiwan and mainland China has meant two things: much more Chinese tourists are visiting Taiwan now and there is a decrease in the number of Taiwanese in Hong Kong and in Macau as passengers are understandably unwilling to interchange flights any more to get to such destinations. The arrivals to Taiwan provide the most impressive statistics.
The first few months of 2011 have seen records drop all over the place in terms of the amount of Chinese people from the mainland in Taiwan. January and February saw 850,000 total arrivals from foreign countries, i.e. 14,476 per day. Hotel occupancy rates were at an average high of 64.5%, even higher in certain places such as Taipei, where the figure stood at 74.9%. Not everybody visiting Taiwan is from mainland China, yet this particular group of tourists accounted for 25.4% of all tourists for this period.
A large number of countries all over the world have been benefiting from China’s emergence as a major power. However, the proximity of Taiwan means that it is a particularly attractive destination for Chinese people from the big mainland cities. Similarly, language issues pose no problems. The Taiwanese are hopeful that the number of incoming tourists will continue to grow.