The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to Taiwan’s tourism industry.
According to the Tourism Bureau, the number of arrivals dropped to 1.3 million people last year after years of continued growth that reached a peak of 11.8 million people in 2019.
The number of outbound tourists also dropped considerably, from 17 million in 2019 to just 2.3 million last year.
Tourism Bureau head Chang Shi-chung said on Thursday that the production value of outbound tourism amounted to NT$790 billion (US$28 billion) in 2019, while the production value of inbound tourism that same year reached NT$400 billion (US14 billion). Even a jump in domestic tourism last summer was not able to offset the losses registered in the other three quarters.
However, Chang said that Taiwan has been lucky, as the successful containment of COVID-19 in Taiwan means that domestic travel is still possible.