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Chinese New Year tourists douse East Asia in money

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2013-02-19
  • 15:40 (GMT+8)
Chinese tourists visit a local market in Kaohsiung. (Photo/Lu Su-li)

Chinese tourists visit a local market in Kaohsiung. (Photo/Lu Su-li)

Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holidays brought in NT$35 billion (US$118 million) in revenue with a 32% hike in visitors year-on-year, our sister newspaper the Commercial Times reports.

Taiwan saw 6.9 million visits from Chinese tourists Over Spring Festival between Feb. 9 and Feb. 17 this year, compared to 5.2 million last year, according to statistics compiled by the National Immigration Agency. Spending via credit card also increased 40% year-on-year.

Credit card purchases by mainland tourists across Cambodia, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Europe, the United States and the Middle East were all up by over 40%, according to foreign financial reports.

The retail industry as well as food and beverage industry in China, however, suffered a sharp decrease during this period, the lowest in the past four years. Sales of several hotels dropped 20%. The decrease could be partially due to new leader Xi Jinping's recent nationwide call to ban public spending on lavish events.

The decrease in sales was also reflected in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, where the price of Kweichow Moutai liquor dropped 4.35%.

Credit card purchases increased 79% for ticket sales at tourist sites within the country, however. Travel agencies saw their sales soar 51% while jewelry sales met a one-fold increase of 119% increase due to Valentines Day on Feb. 14.

Who's Who

  • Hou Jianguo (侯建國)

    Hou Jianguo (侯建國)

    Hou Jianguo is president of the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province and was also a member of the 11th NPC Standing ...