A total of 11.84 million international tourists visited Taiwan last year, a 7 percent increase over 2018, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.
The growth was the highest since a 23.63 percent rise in 2014 and was largely due to the diversification of the sources of international tourists, it said.
The number of Chinese tourists rose by 0.5 percent to 2.71 million, thanks to a robust increase early in the year, despite Beijing’s move in August to block its nationals from visiting Taiwan.
The number of Japanese visitors surpassed 2 million for the first time on Dec. 9, while the number of South Korean tourists also increased, the bureau said.
Tourists from 18 nations covered by the government’s New Southbound Policy — countries in Southeast and South Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand — increased by about 6 percent, it said.
The bureau set up branch offices in Ho Chi-Minh City and London, and tour service departments in Moscow, Jakarta, Vancouver, Auckland and Sydney, while bilateral meetings were held with Japan and South Korea in which tour operators discussed plans to increase tourists traveling between the nations, the bureau said.