Although there were more than 200,000 Chinese tourist visits to Taiwan last month, that number also represents a year-on-year drop of 43.25 percent, indicating a severe slowdown in the market since the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took power in May, the Tourism Bureau said on Monday.
The bureau predicted that Chinese tourist visits to Taiwan for 2016 will fall by 800,000 from nearly 4.2 million in 2015.
Between January and November this year, Taiwan has welcomed 3.24 million Chinese tourist visits, bureau data showed.
However, the number of tourists from other countries -- including Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam -- is on the rise, the bureau said.
Tourists from Thailand grew by 98 percent to more than 20,000 this year, it said.
Nevertheless, tourism industry insiders said the gap left by the fall in Chinese visitors is too big to fill, expressing pessimism about the industry's prospects for next year.
To fix that problem, Transportation and Communications Minister Ho Chen Tan (???) vowed in a legislative session on Monday that programs are being devised to help travel agencies originally catering to Chinese tourists focus more on domestic travel.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel