Taiwan expects 11.8 million visitors in 2019

New record amounts to a rise of 7% despite Chinese ban on individual travelers

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Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (first right) and President Tsai Ing-wen (third from right) at the ITF Friday Nov. 8.

Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (first right) and President Tsai Ing-wen (third from right) at the ITF Friday Nov. 8. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The number of tourists visiting Taiwan this year should reach 11.8 million, a rise of 7 percent compared to the previous year, Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said at the opening of the Taipei International Travel Fair (ITF) Friday (November 8).

In 2018, the number of foreign visitors reached a record 11.06 million, according to official data. The expected rise comes despite a ban on individual travelers imposed by China last August, and widely seen as a politically motivated measure targeting President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election campaign.

Lin took the occasion of the travel fair to reiterate three measures he wants to take, namely the upgrading of his ministry’s Tourism Bureau to a Tourism Agency, the organization of a national tourism congress by the end of this year, and the publication of a tourism whitepaper about travel in the next decade up to 2030, the Central News Agency reported.

The minister described President Tsai as the best possible spokesperson for Taiwanese tourism, mentioning the current campaign to invite foreign visitors to spend a night at the Presidential Office.

Government officials also mentioned the fact that 16 million overseas trips by Taiwanese were recorded, allowing the ITF to try and become the largest travel platform in Asia.
The fair, which lasts until November 11, takes place at the Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei City.