Taiwan unveils promotion project to lure foreign tourists

Taipei – Taiwan on Thursday launched a four-year promotion project aimed at luring foreign tourists.

Under the Tourism Pilot Project approved by cabinet Wednesday, Taiwan will mobilize all resources to turn the island into a transfer point for South-East Asian tourists and a main international tourist destination.

The project requires 30 billion Taiwan dollars (1 billion US dollars) is expected to create 400,000, the Tourism Bureau Director Lai Se-chen said.

She said 60 per cent of the funding will come from airport service fees, both local and international, and the rest from the national coffers.

The scheme is expected to generate 550 billion Taiwan dollars in tourism revenues in 2012, she added.

Taiwan wants to bring in 10 world-famous hotel chains, improve tourism infrastructure and promote eco-tourism, medical tourism and spas, as well as design various tourist routes and packages to attract tourism from China, South-East Asia and Muslim countries.

Taiwan’s inbound tourism has been hurt by the global recession and the country’s six-decade ban on sea and air links with China, which were dropped in December 2008.

In 2008, Taiwan received 3.84 million foreign visitors, falling short of its goal of 4 million.