Taiwan, S. Korea to see 1.6 million mutual visits in 2016: bureau

The Tourism Bureau said Saturday that Taiwan and South Korea could record 1.6 million mutual visits by the end of this year, a 60 percent increase from 2014, adding that the goal for both sides is to raise that number to 2 million next year.

Bureau data showed that 784,819 visits were recorded from South Korea to Taiwan so far this year as of November, with 747,065 visits going the other way.

Under the current pace of development, Taiwan and South Korea, with the number of mutual visits breaking the 1-million mark in November 2014, are expected to see 1.6 million visits for 2016, and 2 million in 2017, tourism officials said.

The growth in tourism exchanges this year could be a result of an aviation pact signed between Taiwan and South Korea in 2015, which increased the number of flights between the two sides by 43 percent in the first half of 2016, according to the bureau.

The introduction of young South Korean actor Yeo Jin-goo to be the tourism ambassador for Taiwan has also proven to be a success, it said.

To attract more South Korean tourists, the bureau said, it will emphasize sports tourism, promoting Taiwan as a destination for golfing, running and mountain climbing.

The bureau said it will also tap into the cruise market to lure South Koreans in the country's southern region to visit Taiwan by ship, as well as launch packages to appeal to young independent travelers.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel