Newspaper article China Post

Taiwan Shouldn't Put All Eggs in One China-Shaped Basket

Newspaper article China Post

Taiwan Shouldn't Put All Eggs in One China-Shaped Basket

Article excerpt

It may sound trite, but there is some truth to the advice against putting all your eggs in one basket.

Taiwan's tourism industry may not really be putting all its eggs in one basket, but its revenue has been depending heavily on travelers from China.

It marked a milestone last year when the number of incoming tourists broke 10 million, but it also served to show Taiwan tourism's growing reliance on Chinese travelers.

It is then not difficult to imagine the impact of a drop in the number of tourists from across the Taiwan Strait.

The latest figures from the Tourism Bureau showed that the number of Chinese travelers continued to rise in the period from January to April this year, up 10.61 percent compared to the same period last year.

But the number of Chinese travelers visiting in tour groups dropped about 30 percent in May compared to the same month of 2015 - perhaps confirming previous rumors that Beijing would cut one third of the group tour quotas for cross-strait trips.

There may be political reasons behind Beijing's decision to cut the tour group quotas, but such a development is providing Taiwan with more motivation to rethink its economic policies.

Forget about the political implications of the economic policies. In pure business terms, it would be very risky for a company or a country to rely solely or heavily on a single market.

Investors and business partners would necessarily feel shockwaves from any economic, social or political turmoil in a market that they rely on. Therefore, it is always important for businesses to diversify their risks.

For Taiwan's tourism industry, its latest bid to diversify risks is to look to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India, which is in line with President Tsai Ing-wen's "New Southbound Policy."

Last year, a total of 1.42 million tourists from Southeast Asia visited Taiwan, and the government has just announced further relaxation of the visa requirements for travelers from ASEAN, looking to boost the number of tourists from the area by at least 20 percent this year. …

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