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Taiwan's visitor arrivals decline for first time in 13 years

Updated: 05 17 , 2017 14:02
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TAIPEI, May 16 -- A total of 2.54 million visitors came to Taiwan from January to March this year, 9.99 percent lower than the same period last year, data from the island's transport bureau said Tuesday.

It is the first time in 13 years visitor arrivals have registered a drop in Taiwan.

Of the 2.54 million visitors, about 667,000 were tourists, which fell over 15 percent in the first quarter.

A total of 659,575 visitors came from the Chinese mainland, which dropped 42 percent from the same period last year. Visitors from Hong Kong and Macao fell 25 percent to 342,270 while the number of Japanese visitors also dropped slightly by 0.11 percent from January to March.

Taiwan's visitor arrivals surpassed 10 million for the first time in 2015, thanks to a continued rise in the number of Chinese mainland visitors since the island opened up to mainland travelers in 2008.

However, the number of mainland tourists has plummeted since Taiwan's leader, Tsai Ing-wen, who has refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus, took office in May last year.

In 2016, the number of Chinese mainland tourists to Taiwan slipped 14.4 percent to 3.61 million, the first drop in eight years, data from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council showed.

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