1.2 million Southeast Asians visited Taiwan in first half of 2018

Taipei was their favorite city, good for 4 nights

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Taipei's Longshan Temple.

Taipei's Longshan Temple. (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The number of Southeast Asians visiting Taiwan reached 1.2 million during the first half of 2018, with Taipei turning out to be the travelers’ favorite city, reports said Wednesday.

The government of Taiwan has been implementing a New Southbound Policy since 2016, intensifying contacts and exchanges with the countries of South and Southeast Asia, with tourism one of its elements.

Taiwan has been attracting about 10 million tourists a year over the past two years, and the 1.2 million visitors from Southeast Asia during the first half of this year amounted to an increase of almost 20 percent from the same period last year, the Liberty Times reported.

If popularity is measured by the number of nights a visitor spends in a city, then Taipei is the most popular with the Southeast Asian travelers, according to the ShopBack website.

They will book an average of 4.05 nights in the capital, 2.89 nights in Kaohsiung, 2.11 nights in Tainan, and 1.9 nights in Taichung and Hualien. Each booking by a Southeast Asian visitor amounted to NT$12,729 (US$415), according to ShopBack.

The numbers of visitors from the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore showed the most marked increases. Despite the increased popularity of South Korean and Chinese pop culture, the pop music and television shows from Taiwan still counted for something among Southeast Asian audiences, while visa waivers added to the attractiveness of the island as a travel destination, the Liberty Times reported.