What to expect in 2017-2018
TAIWAN TAIWA, TAIwan—Taiwan’s tourism industry, which has thrived in the past decade due to the government’s efforts to encourage people to travel to the island, is in a tough spot.
Tourism officials and hotel owners say the government will take a hands-off approach to tourism in 2018 as well, citing a shortage of skilled labor.
Tourism has been in a slump since the beginning of 2017, and it has been difficult to recruit new staff to fill jobs that were created in the wake of the island’s financial crisis, said David Zongguo, director of the Tainan Tourism Co-operative Association, which represents about 200 tourism firms.
The government is also targeting a lack of tourists, which is a challenge for many businesses, he said.
Zongguos group is lobbying for an increase in the number of foreigners visiting Tainas beaches, which are popular among both tourists and locals.
Tourists are also facing increasing pressure to leave Tainans resorts for smaller towns in the capital of Taichung, where the economy has grown, Zongguo said.
“There are so many tourists here, but I think we need to be realistic.
The problem is that the economy is so strong that we can’t really hire any more people,” he said, referring to Taichong.
Tourist arrivals to Tainantan, Taiwan, hit a record high of 12.7 million in 2015, according to the Taiwan Travel Association, up from just over 7 million the year before.
In 2018, that number jumped to 22.4 million.
Zangguo said he is trying to get the island to open up its borders to allow for more tourism.
“We are trying to find solutions to all these problems.
If we can do that, we can keep our tourism boom going,” he added.
A government survey released last month showed Tainants economy is expected to shrink 0.6 percent this year.
The survey also said tourism, which contributed 1.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2016, is expected 0.5 percent this fiscal year.