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Taiwan's Inbound Tourist Arrivals Over 4.8-Million in H1, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 | By Judy Li

Taiwan's in-bound international tourist arrivals rose 26.69% from a year earlier to some 4.8 million in the first half (H1) of 2014, the highest of its kind on record, according to the statistics released by Taiwan's Tourism Bureau.

Chinese mainlanders led with 1.962 million, surging 38.45% from a year earlier, followed by Japanese with 783,000 for an annual increase of 18.55%. Hong Kong and Macau together followed with combined 659,000 tourist arrivals for an year-on-year growth of 18.08%. And the number of South Korean tourists hit a record high of 262,800 for a YoY growth of 79.81%.

The number of tourist arrivals from Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines all experienced uptrend.  Filipino tourists surged 41.19%, Vietnam's went up 28.18% and Malaysia's up 27.36%.

Such uptrend has driven downstream businesses on the island including travel services, transportation, amusement parks, shopping, souvenir stores, lodging, and F&B etc.

In the first six months, the occupancy rate of star-rated tourist hotels in Taiwan posted at 72.44% with combined revenues of NT$24.414 billion (US$813.8 million), with non-star-rated properties reportedly seeing average occupancy rate of 65.81%, with revenues totaling NT$4.283 billion (US$142.77 million).

Hualian, a popular tourist destination on the eastern coast, witnessed the highest growth of 11.73 percentage points in occupancy rate of the hotels. Kaohsiung, a harbor city in southern Taiwan, boasted the second highest with increase of 5.55 percentage points and Taipei, the capital in northern Taiwan, the third with a rise of 3.13 percentage points.

Among the star-rated hotels, Grand Formosa Regent Taipei led with revenues of NT$1.66 billion (US$55.33 million) in H1 and Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel took the second place with NT$1.438 billion (US$47.93 million). Followed in sequence were Grand Hyatt Taipei, W Hotels Taipei and Taipei Ambassador Hotel with corresponding revenues of NT$1.117 billion (US$37.23 million), NT$1.082 billion (US$36.07million), and NT$853 million (US$28.43million), respectively.

In the Jan.-June period, the average room price of the island's tourist hotels was NT$3,672 (US$122.4) per night, edging up NT$34 (US$1.13) or 0.93% from the previous year. During the period, the number of Japanese guests showed the highest annual growth of 10.51% or 91,523 among international guests checking into tourist hotels.

In the same period, Taiwan's commercial airports recorded some 26.34 million entries and exits of passengers, up 12.9% YoY and a new 15-year high, of which 14.53 million times were of passengers on international flights, which rose an annual 13%.

Likewise, Taiwan's international harbors saw a whopping 82.9% YoY rise to 749,000 entries and exits of passengers in H1 to be the second highest of its kind.

A transportation official says, the surging cruise liner passengers is attributable to rapid increase of cross-strait ferry traffic between Taiwan and China as well as escalating docking by international cruise liners.

Besides the daily traffic volume on the island's rail passengers, including those on railroads, high-speed trains, and MRTs, averaged at a record high of 2.775 million passengers for a 6.4% YoY rise. (JL)     

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