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United Daily News: Tianmu's decline, 10 million tourist arrivals

United Daily News: Tianmu's decline, 10 million tourist arrivals

The Eslite Bookstore branch in Taipei's Tianmu area has closed recently, after being in business for 19 years. Tianmu used to be a trendy and bustling area, but has decayed in recent years because foreign businesses and wealthy people have left the area. For some, the closing of the bookstore reminds them of Taiwan's weak economy in recent years.

2007 saw the start of Tianmu's decline. Then-President Chen Shui-bian's "closed-door" policy toward China drove a large number of foreign residents and Taiwanese businesses away from the area.

On the other hand, over 10 million foreign visitors arrived in Taiwan this year. That figure is more than double the 3 million arrivals during the Chen administration. The significant growth is mainly the result of improved cross-Taiwan Strait relations, which has led to a big jump in the number of Chinese visitor arrivals.

Tianmu's decline and the 10 million tourist arrivals show that Taiwan is adjusting to changes in the economy. They also show that we are discovering and testing our potential.

Ten million tourist arrivals a year brings in NT$470 billion (US$14.31 billion) in tourism revenue for Taiwan, a large percentage of which goes to night market vendors and their families. Some Taiwanese, however, complain that the influx of foreign visitors has affected the quality of domestic travel.

To the people who are against Taiwan developing both its manufacturing and tourism sectors, what do you think Taiwan should rely on to maintain its economic vitality?

For the past 20 years, the conflict over political ideology has twisted Taiwan's economic development. People refuse to believe that the economy is losing its strength and that China has risen in influence.

Tianmu's decline was not caused in one day, nor was the decline of Taiwan's economy.

The record 10 million tourist arrivals is something to feel thankful for. Unfortunately, some people turn a blind eye to the progress. (Editorial abstract - Dec. 23, 2015) (By Christie Chen)

Updated : 2021-09-21 02:10 GMT+08:00