Night markets are Taiwan's top tourist destination

Plenty to see in Taiwan after closure of National Palace Museum for renovations says Wu Chieh-ping

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Keelung Night Market (Image from Pixabay user Robert_PastryK)

Keelung Night Market (Image from Pixabay user Robert_PastryK)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Night markets have become Taiwan’s top tourist attraction due to the changing nature of visitors to Taiwan, according to the Tourism Bureau's Planning Division chief Wu Chieh-ping (吳潔萍), reported CNA.

Declining tourists from China has seen night markets, Taipei 101, and the northern Town of Jiufen become more popular than the National Palace Museum, said Wu in a Legislative Yuan meeting on Nov. 12.

Wu was responding to a question about the effect the three-year closure of the National Palace Museum for comprehensive renovations will have on tourism. The museum will be closed from 2020, and many of the exhibitions will be displayed in the museum’s southern branch in Chiayi County.

In response to the closure, Wu said that there are still many things to see in Taiwan, many of which exceed attendance to the National Palace Museum.

Wu pointed to night markets, Taipei 101, and Jiufen as significant tourist attractions, which respectively rank as Taiwan’s top three locations.

Wu said since 2015, the percentage of tourists who visited the National Palace Museum decreased from 48 percent to 35 percent.

The decline in popularity of the museum is partially due to the declining proportion of Chinese tourists. According to the Tourism Bureau, Chinese tourists made up 40.08 percent of all tourists in 2015, and decreased to 25.44 percent in 2017.

During this period, tourists from countries named in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy increased from 14.87 percent to 21.27 percent.