One of the key weaknesses for Taiwan remains its heavy reliance on China as a source for arrivals. Taiwan experienced a rapid and substantial drop in the numbers of group tourists from China in 2016 and 2017 due to the Chinese government’s strained relations with Taiwan’s new government.
Business travellers who usually command a larger budget than leisure visitors constituted a considerable proportion of customers for luxury hotels in Taiwan over the review period. Moreover, improvements in the economic climate are likely to benefit the travel budget of business travellers.
Aside from Chinese tourists, an increasing number of leisure visitors are increasingly willing to spend more on their accommodation to upgrade their overall holiday experience by having a more comfortable stay and to enjoy other benefits instead of travelling around. Luxury hotels are seeking to meet demand from luxury leisure travellers who are willing to spend on high-end accommodation to enjoy a holistic and luxurious travel experience.
The luxury hotels category suffered a further slowdown in sales growth in 2017 largely due to declining tourist arrivals from China. The decline in Chinese group tourists since China’s tougher stance on relations with Taiwan’s newly elected government led to group tours to Taiwan being discouraged, which had a negative impact on sales growth of luxury hotels – the most popular hotel type amongst Chinese group tours.
Hotel construction in Taiwan in recent years has been encouraged by the boom in tourist numbers from China with many developers racing to meet the large demand. However, the sudden change in relations between Taiwan and China, and consequently the decline in Chinese arrivals, has led to a number of new projects ceasing mid-construction, leaving partially constructed buildings.
Online booking has grown in significance for owners of luxury hotels. However, adoption of this strategy varies across the industry, depending on hotel size and the company involved, with some players having taken a passive approach, using only online intermediaries, whilst others have adopted a more hands-on approach.
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