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By Ryder Niu

April 5, 2023

Taiwan’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with international travel restrictions and reduced domestic travel leading to a significant drop in tourism revenue. However, with the rollout of vaccines and the easing of travel restrictions, there are opportunities for Taiwan’s tourism industry to recover and even thrive in a post-pandemic world.

According to Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, the number of international visitors to Taiwan fell by over 70% in 2020 compared to the previous year. “The pandemic has been a huge challenge for Taiwan’s tourism industry,” says tourism expert Dr. Yu-Fen Chen. “But there are opportunities for the industry to adapt and recover.”

One of the biggest challenges facing Taiwan’s tourism industry is the uncertainty around international travel. “The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty for travelers,” says Chen. “Many people are hesitant to travel internationally right now because they are worried about getting sick or being stranded abroad.” This has had a significant impact on Taiwan’s tourism industry, which relies heavily on international visitors.

However, there are opportunities for Taiwan’s tourism industry to focus on domestic tourism. “The pandemic has led to a renewed interest in local travel,” says Chen. “Many Taiwanese people are looking to explore their own country and discover hidden gems.” By promoting domestic tourism, Taiwan’s tourism industry can help to offset some of the losses from the drop in international visitors.

Another challenge facing Taiwan’s tourism industry is the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences. “The pandemic has led to a shift towards more sustainable and experiential tourism,” says Chen. “Travelers are looking for unique and authentic experiences.” Taiwan’s tourism industry can capitalize on this trend by promoting its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique food and drink offerings.

According to David Chien, CEO of a local travel agency, there is a growing interest in eco-tourism in Taiwan. “Taiwan has a rich natural environment, and travelers are increasingly looking for sustainable and responsible travel options,” he says. “By promoting eco-tourism, Taiwan’s tourism industry can attract visitors who are looking for unique and meaningful experiences.”

Taiwan’s tourism industry also has the opportunity to leverage its reputation for safety and cleanliness. “Taiwan’s handling of the pandemic has been praised internationally, and this reputation can be used to attract visitors who are looking for safe and secure travel options,” says Chen. “By promoting its rigorous health and safety protocols, Taiwan’s tourism industry can give visitors the confidence to travel to Taiwan.”

In conclusion, Taiwan’s tourism industry has faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are opportunities for the industry to recover and even thrive in a post-pandemic world. By adapting to changing consumer preferences, promoting domestic and eco-tourism, and leveraging its reputation for safety and cleanliness, Taiwan’s tourism industry can attract visitors from around the world and contribute to the country’s economic recovery. As Chien puts it, “There is so much to discover in Taiwan, and we are ready to welcome visitors back when the time is right.”

Sources:

“International visitor arrivals down 73% in 2020,” Focus Taiwan, January 11, 2021, https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202101110019.

Interview with Dr. Yu-Fen Chen, tourism expert and professor at National Taiwan University.”Taiwan tourism promotes domestic travel to offset slump,” Nikkei Asia, July 30, 2020, https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Taiwan-tourism-promotes-domestic-travel-to-offset-slump.

“Taiwan’s tourism industry looks to ride sustainability trend,” Taiwan News, June 11, 2020, https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3949233.

Interview with David Chien, CEO of a local travel agency.”How Taiwan Became a Coronavirus Success Story,” The New Yorker, April 6, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-taiwan-became-a-coronavirus-success-story.”Taiwan Named the World’s Second-

Safest Country During Covid-19,” Bloomberg, August 25, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-25/taiwan-named-the-world-s-second-safest-country-during-covid-19.