TAIPEI — Revenue generated by Chinese tourists to Taiwan is likely to be lower than expected, despite a significant hike in their numbers as ties between the two sides warm, a report said Thursday.
This year around 480,000 Chinese are expected to visit Taiwan, bringing in 16.9 billion Taiwan dollars (528 million US) in tourism revenue, the United Daily News said, citing a study by Taipei’s Institute for Business Development.
The study was compiled from interviews with 28 local tour guides and 120 Chinese tourists, it said.
The figure was lower than the 30 billion Taiwan dollars forecast by the official Tourism Bureau, the report said, adding the bureau over-estimated mainlanders’ accommodation, transportation and shopping spending.
Institute officials were not immediately available for comment.
A total of 407,237 tourists arrived from the mainland in the period from January to October, up 479 percent from the same period last year, according to the Tourism Bureau.
A key factor in boosting the numbers was a decision by President Ma Ying-jeou’s Beijing-friendly government in July last year to treble the daily quota of Chinese tourists to 3,000.
Taiwan and China, which split in 1949 after a civil war, reportedly were planning to swap quasi-official tourism offices before the Lunar New Year.
Ties between Taiwan and China have improved dramatically since Ma took office last year, although Beijing still claims the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.