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Foreign visitors to Taiwan up by more than 10% over CNY holiday
Publication Date : 04-02-2014
The number of people entering Taiwan this Chinese New Year increased by more than 10 per cent, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) announced recently.
The MOI said that there are only six days off for this year Chinese New Year holidays, so the number of people leaving the country during the holidays slightly decreased.
According to the MOI, on Chinese New Year's Eve in 2012, 46,886 people left the country and 38,855 people entered, while 60,037 people left and 47,292 people visited Taiwan on Chinese New Year's Eve in 2013. This year, 57,737 people left Taiwan on Chinese New Year's Eve while 54,837 people entered the country.
The MOI also said that from January 29 to February 1 this year, there were 469,607 people entering and leaving Taiwan, which is a 7.57-per-cent increase compared to the number from the same time last year.
Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi said some people think that longer holidays can stimulate the economy, but the nine-day-long Chinese New Year vacation last year actually led to more people travelling aboard.
“Longer holidays do not necessarily benefit the travel business in Taiwan,” said Hsiao.
Hsiao said that the amount of people leaving Taiwan during the Chinese New Year holidays in the past few years tended to be higher than the number of people entering Taiwan.
“However, for the Chinese New Year holidays this year, the number of people entering and leaving the country is almost the same,” said Hsiao.
According to Hsiao, there are many religious activities like racing to offer the first incense stick and celebrations like the Lantern Festival during which people release sky lanterns during Chinese New Year, and the MOI has been promoting a Taiwan religious culture map, which allows people to vote for their favorite activities and locations.
“All these special activities have been attracting more foreigners to come to Taiwan during Chinese New Year to enjoy the unique atmosphere,” said Hsiao. “I saw many foreigners at Mazu Temple praying for blessings, and they all seemed to really enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year in Taiwan.”
According to the Ministry of Culture, the first day in “Zhengyue” (first month) is the first day of the Chinese New Year holidays. The activities of the Spring Festival mostly continue until the fifth day of the first month, which is also called Xinzheng (first moon of the lunar year). New Year's celebrations traditionally don't end until Yuanxiao, or Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of Zhengyue.