Chinese Tourists Only Bringing People and No Revenue to Taiwan?

Chinese Tourists Only Bringing People and No Revenue to Taiwan?
Photo Credit: Kiwi He@Flickr CC BY 2.0

What you need to know

Legislator Chen Ou-po says that the tourism industry has been overly dependent on Chinese tourists, but their average travel budget is only US$ 94. However, the average travel budget for Australian tourists is US$ 1,223, which means the expenses of one Australian tourist's equals to that of 13 Chinese tourists. Chen suggests that Taiwan should seek more tourists from other countries instead of relying on China.

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On October 21, the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee reviewed the budget of the Tourism Bureau. Legislator Chen Ou-po says that the tourism industry has been overly dependent on Chinese tourists, but their average travel budget is only US$ 94. However, the average travel budget for Australian tourists is US$ 1,223, which means the expenses of one Australian tourist’s equals to that of 13 Chinese tourists. Chen suggests that Taiwan should seek more tourists from other countries instead of relying on China.

According to the Tourism Bureau’s report, it shows that in 2014, 9.91 million tourists visited Taiwan and brought in NT$ 443.8 billion (approximately US$ 130 billion). The average daily consumption per tourist is US$ 221, and the tourism industry accounted for 2.48% of the GDP. These numbers are all at record high.

SET reports, Chen says that although the Tourism Bureau said that all the indicators have broken records regarding foreign tourists, the number of Taiwanese people going abroad in 2014 was 11.84 million, which is about two million more than the number of foreign tourists that came to Taiwan. Since Taiwanese people do not like to travel within the country, the contribution of Taiwan’s tourism industry made to the country’s GDP is much lower than Hong Kong and Thailand.

ETtoday reports, Chen points out that in addition to losing local tourists, the friendliness and kindness of Taiwanese people have been fading away as well. According to a research conducted in 2010, one out of every three foreign tourists complemented the Taiwanese for being friendly. Last year this number dropped to only one out of five.

Taiwan’s tourism industry is also overly dependent on Chinese tourists, but their average travel budget is only US$ 94, which often brings only a crowd, but not money. Other examples, such as the average travel budget of Australian tourists is US$1,223 per person, US$ 1,063 for German tourists, which suggest that the Tourism Bureau should strive to attract tourists from other countries more.

Apple Daily reports, the majority of the hostel and travel agency industry in Taiwan thinks that due to the monopoly of Chinese capital investments, Taiwanese companies can hardly share revenue with Chinese tour groups. They can only receive solo travelers, which generate lower profits.

Ms. Wang from Taichung Travel Agency says that most Taiwanese companies only made profit in the first three years after the government opened up the island to Chinese tourists. After that, Chinese investors have stormed into the entire industry, acquiring restaurants, boutiques, tour buses and even travel agencies to monopolize the consumption of Chinese tourists in Taiwan.

Chinese investors have continuously been acquiring and investing in hotels as well. Taichung Hotels Association Chairman Wang Bao-guo says that in the next five years in Taichung, Chinese investors might hold more than 30% of the hotels in the city, monopolizing the tour group market. The remaining 70% of the hotels will only get solo travelers or close down.

Wang further stresses that the Chinese tourists are all concentrated in Taipei, so the effect may not be so obvious. But the situation is becoming worse in the middle and southern parts of Taiwan.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang

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