Taiwan to give out subsidies to Japanese tourists


Taipei -Taiwan plans to pay subsidies to group-tour Japanese visitors to stem a decrease in their number.

Starting as early as this year, up to 25,000 Japanese tourists will each get 3,000 New Taiwan dollars. Independent tourists will also receive some benefits in the form of government payments to airlines to cover fuel surcharges.

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In the first nine months of this year, the number of Japanese tourists to Taiwan dropped by more than 54,000 to 805,000 from a year before, according to Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau.

In 2007, the number of Japanese visiting the island hit a record high of 1,166,380 and the largest of any tourist group based on nationality.

The decrease was attributable to increasing fuel surcharges for air travel as well as an economic slowdown in Japan.

The campaign comes as Taiwan faces difficulty attracting tourists from mainland China. The number of Chinese tourists has averaged 230 per day, far below Taiwan’s goal of 2,000, since Taiwan lifted its ban on mainland Chinese visiting the island on July 4.