TAIWAN. Travel retailer Tasa Meng underlined its sustained commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by hosting a charity dinner for the Veteran Affairs Council last night,
The dinner was attended by over 200 veterans and their families just before the Chinese New Year holiday. The evening featured music and other entertainment and each veteran received a Chinese New Year gift.
Tasa Meng noted that its commitment to CSR remains strong despite extremely difficult economic conditions in Taiwan last year, which continue in 2018. “As an independent duty free operator, we continue to take the lead in terms of giving something back to the community,” the company said.
“The outlook for 2018 remains difficult for most companies in Taiwan,” Tasa Meng commented. “Many small and medium-sized companies have encountered huge difficulties, with turnover continuing to decrease and overheads rising due to higher staff costs.
“Most companies have continued reducing budgets that supported charitable organizations. As a result, many charities face challenges in raising funds to support the needy, especially during the Chinese New Year period.
Mainland tourism decline in 2016 and 2017 – but are better days coming?
The retailer noted that Taiwan’s travel industry also suffered from a decrease in Mainland Chinese visitors last year and heavily reduced spending.
The Chinese government restricted travel to the island after Taiwan’s ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, led by Tsai Ing-wen, came to power in May 2016. According to Nikkei Asian Review, during the eight years under the previous, pro-mainland leadership of Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party, Mainland Chinese arrivals grew more than tenfold.
“Chinese arrivals then [after the change of government] took a nosedive,” noted Jing Travel with which The Moodie Davitt Report works closely. Chinese arrivals for the year to November 2017 reached around 2.7 million, down by around -25%.
However, Jing Travel noted an +11% year-on-year rise in Mainland arrivals for the August to November 2017 period, in what may signal a PRC policy change. The uplift followed 16 consecutive months of decline. The October and November gains both exceeded +20%.
Better times might be coming for Taiwan’s tourism sector, says Jing Travel. Unlike South Korea, which has remained dangerously over-exposed to the Chinese market (and suffered badly from that imbalance in 2017 due to the THAAD row), Taiwan has successfully attracted strong numbers from other nationalities, notably South Koreans.
According to Taiwan News, the government hopes for a +9% increase in visitor arrivals this year.