Sometimes Numbers Just Speak For Themselves

I think DPP actually did a great job here in just showing the numbers and let the numbers speak for themselves. 

To summarize the statistical data in English:

  • Time frame: This year, from January to September. 
  • Number of Japanese tourists to Taiwan decreases by 8.32%
  • Number of Korean tourists to Taiwan decreases by 38.46%
  • Number of US tourists to Taiwan decreases by 7.66%
  • Number of European tourists to Taiwan decreases by 2%
  • Current average daily number of Chinese tourists to Taiwan is 1307
  • Current number of Taiwanese tourists to China is 8.2 times that of Chinese tourists to Taiwan

The Number and The Tourism

And for me, the number strongly indicate the following: 

Ma’s policy to target Chinese tourists have failed miserably.  The number of Chinese tourists to Taiwan is not great, especially considering Ma and those tourist industries’ great effort to put this stupid thing in motion.  The reward and effort is not porpotional. 

Furthermore, by focusing on Chinese tourists, the government and the industries forgo other possible opportunities such as Japanese, Korean, American and domestic tourists.   Therefore, there is a what economists called opportunity cost or implicit cost associate with it.  The problem, of course, is that the overall economic profit from the increase in Chinese tourists is smaller than the economic cost from the decrease of other tourists.  This means overall lost. 

For example, a hotel reserves rooms for 100 Chinese tourists, and therefore, has no room for another 70 Japanese tourists.  For the hotel, 100 is more than 70, and they gains from it.  However, if the 100 Chinese tourists can spend up to $10,000 in Taiwan while the 70 Japanese tourists can spend up to $15,000 in Taiwan, then overall Taiwan actually lost $5,000 dollars.  This is just cold number, and the reality might be a bit more complex, but it neverthless reflects the reality.

Interesting enough, after more Chinese tourists come, those hotels etc start to engage in price cutting war.  Therefore,  for the hotel, 100 Chinese tourists might not actually even mean more money than 70 Japanese tourists…  I really wonder if the tourism industries actually make more money.

Lastly, 8.2 times more Taiwanese tourists to China is just shocking.  China has what…60 times more population than Taiwan and there are 8.2 times more Taiwanese went to China.  Hmm…very interesting. 

But those are money talks only.  Money is important, but another side of it is the total strategy…where is Taiwan trying to go?  To me, tourism is only an icing on a cake.  Taiwan should not focus too much on this industry, because there are so many other options and industries that are more important to Taiwan.  Taiwan has some nice places.  Treat the environment well, make the city clean, respect historical sights, and the tourists will naturally come.  There is no need try to target Chinese tourists.  It is useless.  Remember, China is not really free market, and Chinese government is in control of everything. 


I think DPP did a good job of using solid number to support the arguement.  They need to do this more.  Of course, not on everything and not just number.  However, sometimes general sense or feeling is just not good enough because Taiwan is not small to the point that everyone can just sense what is going on just by looking around in the neighbourhood.  A good number can give people a sense of what is happening and is a strong support of an arguement, and DPP needs good arguement to get Taiwan rid of KMT’s stupidity.   I think even for this tourism thing, more good number might bring out more light on the current situation.


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