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Taiwan should open theme park, casino to lure international visitors: tourism expert

Taiwan should look to international examples to boost tourism says Kao Ming-tu

Tourists at National Palace Museum, Taipei

Tourists at National Palace Museum, Taipei (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan should open an amusement park or consider lifting the ban on casinos to entice international tourism according to Kao Ming-tu (高洺塗), advisor to Taiwan’s travel agent association, reported the Liberty Times.

Taiwan should look to Singapore’s experience in boosting tourism through opening amusement parks in a bid to increase international tourism, and think about new forms of tourism to deal with Taiwan’s tourism deficit says Kao.

According to statistics from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Taiwan’s tourism deficit totaled NT$374 billion (US$12.13 billion) in 2017, meaning Taiwanese spent significantly more money abroad, than international tourists spent in Taiwan.

Kao suggests that the rise of cheap flights throughout the region has enticed Taiwanese travelers to look abroad, and suggested Taiwanese people will spend NT$780 billion (US$25.3 billion) on international travel this year, reported the Liberty Times.

Meanwhile, Liu Hsi-lin (劉喜臨) deputy head of National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism (國立高雄餐旅大學) is skeptical of the idea that the tourist deficit is a problem.

Liu believes that Taiwanese travelers going abroad, and foreign tourists coming to Taiwan are two distinct markets, and because of this, the problem might be overstated. He went on to tell the Liberty Times that Taiwanese people traveling abroad is a sign of national strength, and there is room for Taiwan’s domestic tourism market to work hard to better cater to Taiwan and the world.