The Taiwanese government said on 15 March that it would waive visas for tourists arriving on its shores from India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines within three years.
Tsai Ing-wen, the President of the Republic of China, has reportedly made it a priority to forge better ties on tourism, economic and cultural fronts with the Southeast and South Asian countries.
The government revealed that tourist numbers from 18 countries that the ‘New Southbound Policy’ was directed at rose by 42.8 percent in January 2017 compared to the same period last year.
The Tourism Bureau’s statistics revealed that 68,000 people arrived in Taiwan in January as tourists, which is considered to be the largest increase of its kind in four years.
The Executive Yuan’s economic and trade negotiation office was quoted by Taiwan News as saying that if economic development continues to soar in India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines, the tourism sector of Taiwan would stand to gain over the next three years when visas would be eliminated.
The office added that Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam were the five largest source countries for tourists in this cluster of 18 countries.
Meanwhile, the number of tourists arriving from Thailand in one month breached the 10,000-mark for the first time in January this year, owing in part to the visa-waiver policy introduced for that country’s citizens in August 2016.
Since Thais were waived visas, the number of visitors from that country had jumped by 170 percent reported some sources. At the same time, the number of tourists from India, Laos, the Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia is said to have increased by 50 percent.
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