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Taiwan Tourism Adjusts Amid Cross-Strait Challenges

Taiwan is reevaluating its tourism strategy due to cross-strait challenges. Tourism Administration Director-General Chou Yung-hui expressed concerns about a potential 2 million shortfall in foreign visitor arrivals this year, especially if China maintains its ban on group tourist visits to Taiwan. Chou stated that the tourism target might need to be adjusted downward to 10 million if the ban persists. Full recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels of 12 million visitors is not expected until 2025. Taiwan has urged China to show goodwill in both tourism and politics, suggesting that such gestures could lead to reconsideration of Taiwan's ban on tour groups traveling to China, which was scheduled to lift in June. However, Taiwan reversed its decision last month due to hostility from Beijing and the lack of Chinese tourist groups visiting Taiwan.

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Despite these setbacks, Taiwan has witnessed a significant recovery in tourism, with nearly 1.9 million visitors recorded as of March 15, marking an 85 percent rebound compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019. Notably, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau remain the top destinations for visitors to Taiwan.

Chou also announced plans to expand the Taiwan Pass, initially designed for foreign visitors, to include local tourists. Priced at NT$2,500 (USD80), the pass offers three days of unlimited travel on the country's high-speed rail network, selected metro lines, and tour bus services. Additionally, cruise liner services will be incorporated into the pass. The pass is scheduled for launch on June 1, although the final price is yet to be determined, according to Chou, as reported by CNA.

April 2, 2024 11:09 a.m. 7645

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