WITH the new southbound policy in place and simplified visa schemes, Taiwan tourism is expecting a surge of at least 700,000 Filipino arrivals to their country next year.
According to Taiwan Ambassador Gary Song-Huann Lin, Taiwan’s newly implemented southbound policy urges not only better trade relations with the Philippines, but an improved cultural exchange that would dramatically increase two-way tourism numbers.
He said they will be launching an online visa-processing service where individuals can apply for a visa and download other requirements needed for their travel to Taiwan.
“We are going to announce an e-visa. That means no need to come to my office physically to apply for visa. Just through online, you are able to download and get the authorization to travel to Taiwan,” Lin said during Taiwan’s Tourism Workshop in Mandaluyong City.
Lin added that Filipino arrivals in Taiwan are still limited at present, with only 130,000 traveling to their country annually. However, he hopes that with the e-visa, affordable airfares and accommodations, more tourists from the Philippines will visit.
“We hope that when we introduce the online visa very soon, the latest will be January, we are hoping to reach 700,000 because, right now, you already have 180,000 Filipino who are working or residing in Taiwan,” Lin said, while adding that there are now 8,000 Filipinos who have married Taiwanese nationals.
In pushing Taiwan tourism, Lin noted the proximity for Filipino travelers, the wide range of choices for food and accommodation, historical destinations and things to do for every member of the family.
Taiwan will be offering special promo rates in line with Taiwan’s Asia-Pacific Cultural Day happening on November 5. Lin said they are prepared to waive visas for those who will be travelling in groups to attend the event.