Taiwan expects 10 millionth tourist next week

Taiwan expects 10 millionth tourist next week
PHOTO: Taiwan Tourism

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan will likely see the arrival of its 10-millionth tourist of the year next week, the Cabinet said on Thursday along with announcing the passing of regulations on injecting more funding into university-industry collaboration projects to address youth unemployment.

While the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was presenting a report at the weekly Cabinet meeting, Premier Mao Chi-kuo asked the ministry to prepare the country to celebrate and welcome the arrival of the 10-millionth tourist to Taiwan.

Due to Taiwan's quality environment for traveling, great cuisine and warm hospitality, the island has often made it onto popular travel destination rankings on well-known media platforms, Mao said at the meeting, as reported by Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun.

Referring to coverage appearing in National Geographic Traveler magazine, Mao said that the internationally acclaimed magazine had named Taiwan among its top 20 travel destinations for 2015.

Tourism has become one of the government's most promoted sectors in recent years, Mao said. Tourist numbers to Taiwan have been making leaps and bounds due to efforts made by the central and local governments as well as private companies. Highlighting the arrival of the 10-millionth tourist, Sun stated that it represents an important milestone in Taiwan's tourism history, quoting Mao's remarks at the post-meeting press conference. Taiwan saw just 3 million tourists in 2008.

As of Dec. 7, tourists to Taiwan had reached approximately 9.6 million, Sun said, suggesting that the number would reach 10 million around Dec. 18 to Dec. 20, according to the current growth rate.

Addressing Youth Unemployment

The Cabinet green-lighted a plan that stipulates an injection of approximately NT$3.6 billion (S$154.5 million) into its industry-university co-operation programme that encompasses five ministries next year: the Education Ministry, the Economic Affairs Ministry, the Labor Ministry and the Science and Technology Ministry.

The amount of funding has surpassed this year's NT$1.3 billion, according to the report given by the Department of Technological and Vocational Education under the Ministry of Education (MOE).

After listening to the report, Mao said an industry-university programme would provide a more segmented experience for young people in their career development.

According to the MOE, the Cabinet-led programme would integrate resources from the ministries to expand training for potential workers and address challenges suggested by industry, such as workforce shortages and talent mismatches, for future industry transitions and to create further value.

Nine industrial sectors have been included to participate in the programme with schools by conducting classes and hiring mentors, the MOE stated. Other sectors, including long-term care and the service sector could be considered in the future.

The nine sectors are communications, semiconductor, cloud computing, iron and steel, cycling, machinery, textiles and production, petrochemical and design.

As of the end of November, the programme has trained at least 93,840 people, the MOE stated. The programme was passed by the Cabinet in December 2014 and commenced this year.

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