TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has become the seventh most popular tourist destination for tourists in the Asia-Pacific region after last fall’s lifting of COVID-19 entry restrictions for tourists, according to Mastercard.
On Tuesday, the MasterCard Economic Research Institute released the “Travel Industry Trends to 2023” report, showing that Taiwan is the most popular destination for Asia-Pacific tourists. Australia topped the list, followed by the US, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan rounding out the top five.
The Central News Agency quoted Chen Yiwen, general manager of MasterCard Taiwan, as saying that there are three major trends in the tourism industry this year. First, the reopening of China is a boost to tourism. Second, demand for physical meetings is driving a resurgence in business travel as companies resume office work arrangements.
Third, tourists continue to pursue unique travel experiences instead of purchasing items such as durable goods.
Du Yihuan, MasterCard’s data and service marketing manager, told the news agency that tourists generally prefer destinations in their own region. For example, Mexico is the top destination for North American tourists, while the US is a popular choice for Latin American tourists.
As for tourists from the Asia-Pacific region, as of March this year, the top six tourist destinations for tourists were Australia, the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and the United Kingdom, followed by Taiwan at seventh place. After Taiwan, Canada, Indonesia and Thailand rounded out the top ten. Tu said Taiwan entered the top 10 for the first time in February this year with a seventh place finish and continued to maintain this position in March.
From May 16 to May 30 this year, MasterCard conducted a “Taiwan Tourism Survey” to study the travel behavior changes of 1,000 Taiwanese consumers aged 20 to 65 who have traveled frequently since the opening. The scope of the survey covers the northern, central and southern regions of Taiwan.
According to the survey, since Taiwan opened its borders, 43.4% of the respondents have traveled abroad, and 93.1% of the respondents have plans to go abroad next year. At the same time, 42.5% of the respondents not only hope to increase the number of trips abroad in the future, but also hope to increase the number of days for each trip.
However, with global inflation, 64% of respondents said their travel costs have increased significantly. In addition, 35.3% of people said that compared with before the epidemic, travel expenses have increased by more than NT$10,000.
In response to the rising cost of traveling abroad, MasterCard has observed that people tend to book their flights first and arrange their travel later. Among the respondents, 75.8% pay more attention to discounted air tickets, and they will buy air tickets before planning their itinerary.
In addition, 28.6% of respondents save travel expenses by adjusting travel itineraries, such as choosing to avoid peak seasons, reducing accommodation, ticket classes or shopping expenses. However, they remain relatively unwilling to reduce their food bills, suggesting that the appeal of tasting exotic dishes remains.