Taiwan Set for First Tourist Drop Since 2003 After China Ban

Date: October 28, 2019
By: Chinmei Sung

Visitors stand at Liberty Square near the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

China’s ban on individual travel to Taiwan could see visitors to the island fall for the first time since the devastating SARS outbreak of 2003.

The number of mainlanders traveling to the island plunged 46% in September, according to data from Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau. China banned individual travelers from heading to Taiwan in July, although tourists are still allowed to visit in tour groups.

While the total number of international visitors to Taiwan had been on track for a new record high, rising more than 10% so far this year, the Chinese embargo threatens to interrupt 15 straight years of annual increases in overseas arrivals. In 2003, tourists stayed away from Taiwan and Hong Kong after outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.    [FULL  STORY]

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