By: Chiu Po-sheng and Frances Huang
Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Value added tax (VAT) refunds filed by foreign visitors to Taiwan for 2016 fell more than 20 percent from a year earlier due to a plunge in the number of arriving Chinese tourists, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Tuesday.
The MOF said that since Chinese tourists in Taiwan tend to make purchases such as luxury goods and souvenirs here, the decline in their arrivals served as the major reason for the fall in VAT refunds filed by foreign visitors.
In 2016, VAT refunds filed by foreign visitors to Taiwan totaled NT$1.69 billion (US$55.96 million), down 22 percent from a year earlier, while the number of VAT refund applications fell 1.3 percent year-on-year to 1.62 million, MOF data shows.
The decline came after the number of Chinese tourists to Taiwan fell to 3.51 million from 4.18 million in 2015 amid cooling cross-Taiwan Strait relations since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took office on May 20, 2016. [FULL STORY]