Taipei, Taiwan is one of the top searches for Asian holiday makers looking for holiday destinations, according to the results of a survey released by online travel search company Skyscanner on Thursday.
The country ranked second in the number of searches in Hong Kong, third in Japan, fifth in China, sixth in South Korea, eighth in the Philippines and Malaysia, 10th in Singapore, 12th in Thailand and 18th in Vietnam, the survey showed.
Reflecting that popularity, the number of visitors arriving in Taiwan has exceeded 10 million annually for the last three years, statistics from the country's Tourism Bureau show.
The country welcomed 10,439,785 visitors in 2015; 10,690,279 in 2016 and 10,739,601 in 2017, the statistics indicate.
Of those, the number of visitors from Asia was 9,469,559 in 2015 9,624,793 in 2016 and 9,585,635 in 2017, the statistics showed.
However, further analysis of the survey indicates that Taiwan could do more to attract Asian tourists. For example, Singaporean and Malaysian holiday makers said the lack of halal-certified restaurants is a concern.
That is further reflected in the number of visitors from Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world with a population of 261 million, as only 177,743 visitors came to Taiwan from the Southeast Asian country in 2015, 188,720 in 2016 and 189,631 in 2017.
In addition, Vietnamese and Filipino holiday makers complained that visa applications are inconvenient, while the language barrier and relatively high cost of living in Taiwan deterred other visitors, the survey pointed out.
Japanese holiday makers prefer destinations that are further away, hence there were more searches for the United States as a potential holiday destination than Taiwan, the survey showed, adding that the fact Taiwan's weather is sometimes unbearably hot was another reason cited by some South Koreans.
Skyscanner has around 60 million users per month with products available in over 30 languages and 70 currencies, employing more than 900 staff around the world, according to its website.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel