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Talk of the Day -- New Year's bash draws Chinese revelers to Taiwan

Talk of the Day -- New Year's bash draws Chinese revelers to Taiwan

Lavish New Year's bash thrown by city and county governments around Taiwan has emerged as a new tourism attraction for Chinese holidaymakers, according to local media reports. The Commercial Times quoted China's official Xinhua News Agency as saying that Taiwan is high on the list of favorite destinations for Chinese revelers to spend New Year and Chinese New Year holiday seasons. Tour packages offered by major Chinese travel agencies in Shandong, Shanxi and several other provinces for those periods have all received enthusiastic response and been fully booked, Xinhua said. Data released by Taiwan's Tourism Bureau show that China has replaced Japan as the largest source of tourists to Taiwan. As of Dec. 29, Chinese people had made over 2.17 million visits to Taiwan this year. The following are excerpts from local media coverage on the latest development in the travel market: Commercial Times: Group tour rates from China to Taiwan have increased significantly this year because of a combination of factors, including rising hotel fees and flight ticket prices as well as implementation of China's new travel law that prohibits travel agencies from luring tourists with low-priced or "free" tours. Prices for tour packages for the period around the 2014 New Year's Day or the Chinese New Year (Jan. 31, 2014) holidays have even surged by more than 30 percent. The rising tour fees, however, has not dampened Chinese people's interest in rushing to Taiwan to enjoy New Year's Eve bash, including large-scale outdoor countdown concerts and firework displays in Taipei and other major Taiwan cities, a Chinese travel agency executive said. The executive at Shandong Jiahua Culture International Travel Agency said the company's eight-day Taiwan tour package with Dec. 31 as departure day was fully reserved soon after it was introduced on its official website. A spokesman with the Jinan branch of China International Travel Agency said the company has been sending a 20-member tour group for an eight-day round-Taiwan trip every day in recent months. "Response has been fervent as the tour package covers all of Taiwan's most popular travel destinations, such as Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, Taipei 101 and the Palace Museum," he said. Travel service operators in Shanxi Province also said their Taiwan-bound tour packages have been selling well, despite an over 30 percent annual price hike. Shanxi residents made 35,000 visits to Taiwan in 2012 and the number already broke such a record in the first half of this year, according to Shanxi tourism bureau data. China's tour agents said Chinese people are very interested in various Taiwanese folk festivities such as releasing sky lanterns during Pingxi Lantern Festival, launching beehive fireworks during Yanshuei Fireworks Festival and bombing Master Handan during Lantern Festival in Taitung. Yang Jui-chung, director of the Beijing office of the Taipei-based Taiwan Cross-Strait Travel Association, said his office has compiled a list of major New Year's Eve countdown parties or concerts around Taiwan and New Year's Day celebration activities for reference of Chinese tour operators and would-be Chinese tourists. He further said the number of individual Chinese tourists to Taiwan has increased sharply over the past year, rising from 190,000 in 2012 to 530,000 in 2013. (Dec. 31, 2013). Economic Daily News: Taiwan received 8 millionth foreign visitor Tuesday. It was a development beyond the government's original target. The Tourism Bureau originally expected to receive 7.7 million visitors in 2013, a target that was attained on Dec. 21. Tourism Bureau officials said the number of 2013 tourist arrivals set a new record and marked a 9.4 percent annual increase from the 2012 level when the number stood at 7.3 million. Travel industry analysts said the number of tourist arrivals could reach 8.8 million in 2014 and hit 10 million record by 2016. (Dec. 31, 2013). (By Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2021-05-19 03:01 GMT+08:00