Thursday, August 4, 2011

When expectations fell below aspirations

l  There were undoubtedly high expectations in Taiwan before the free individual travelers (FIT) program for Chinese tourists kicked off at the end of June, particularly among the island’s retail, food, and hospitality industries.

l  However, since the policy became effective on June 28, only 587 Chinese FITs have visited Taiwan in the first month. Some have interpreted the disappointing figure as a gloomy forecast for the FIT program, but it would be premature to declare the policy a failure.

l  On the other hand, according to Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, more than 3 million visitors have traveled to Taiwan since the island opened its doors to Chinese tour groups three years ago. That decision has generated NT$195.8 billion, or US$6.57 billion, in tourism revenue since 2008.

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