Taiwan announces 4-part plan to boost international tourist arrivals

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) - A four-pronged plan to increase the number of international tourists to Taiwan, is being implemented following China’s recent ban on individual visits by its nationals from 47 cities.

Several government agencies will be working together to implement a four-pronged plan to increase the number of international tourists to Taiwan, following China’s recent ban on individual visits by its nationals from 47 cities, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Wednesday.

The plan includes a proposal to streamline the visa application process for international visitors to Taiwan, to regularly review the existing visa-free trial program for the Philippines, Thailand and Russia, and to extend visa-free privileges to holders of Indonesian e-passports, the MOTC said.

That proposal will be discussed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant government agencies, said the MOTC, which earlier in the day approved the four-part plan put forth by the Tourism Bureau.

Under the plan, the MOTC said, it will increase its subsidies to international carriers that operate charter flights to Taiwan and encourage airlines to fly to more destinations within the country.

In addition, international visitors will be offered vouchers for Taiwan High Speed Rail, which will be valid until April 30 next year, in an effort to encourage travel to central and southern Taiwan, the ministry said.

The four-pronged plan was presented by the Tourism Bureau, in part to offset the effects of China’s ban on individual visits to Taiwan, which is expected to result in a drop of 400,000 arrivals from China in the second half of the year from the 1.677 million recorded in the first half, according to the MOTC.

The bureau had also devised marketing campaigns aimed at attracting more group tours from mainland China and visitors from Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, the ministry said.

For example, the bureau will work with South Korean airlines to encourage special fares for first-time independent visitors from that country, the MOTC said.

The details of the four-part plan and its funding have not yet been finalized, the ministry said.

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