Tsai takes to streets of Taipei to celebrate tourism growth

The president greeted visitors personally in Ximen Ding on Jan. 17

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11,000,000 visitors came to Taiwan in 2018 (FB/Tsai Ing-wen)

11,000,000 visitors came to Taiwan in 2018 (FB/Tsai Ing-wen)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen took to the streets on Jan. 17 to celebrate the growth of Taiwan’s tourism industry by meeting visitors and experiencing “a day in the life of a tourist.”

After an excursion to Taipei’s Ximen Ding District (西門町) accompanied by staff, Tsai posted on social media proclaiming how tourism to the island had flourished in recent years. The president wrote that the number of visitors had steadily increased over the past three years, exceeding 11 million in 2018, which set a milestone for the country’s tourism industry.

Tsai stressed that while the number of tourists from China had declined, the number of visitors from Europe, the U.S., Japan, Korea and New Southbound countries had increased exponentially. The nationalities of visitors Taiwan receives are also now much more diverse, she added.

After handling official business on Jan. 17, Tsai made her way to the Ximen Ding area for lunch, in order to live “a day in the life of a tourist.” Tsai said the place was full of memories from her youth, and that she used to frequent “Polar Ice Cream” (白熊冰淇淋) as a university student, as well fried-chicken chain Ting Kua Kua (頂呱呱), and regularly sit and chat with friends at Nan May Coffee (南美咖啡).

The president emphasized that her excursion was not only to reengage with some of her old favorite places and pastimes, but to personally greet some of the tourists helping spread the word of Taiwan to the world. Tsai said she met an array of people of multiple nationalities.

The government will continue to concentrate more resources in improving cultural sites and infrastructure, the president wrote. She added that she believes the Taiwanese tourism industry will continue to grow stronger and stronger.