TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is preparing visa waivers for tourists from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar within the next three years, the government said Wednesday.
The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen has made closer economic, cultural and tourism ties with countries in Southeast and South Asia a priority.
Tourist arrivals from 18 countries targeted by the “New Southbound Policy” were up by 42.8 percent in January compared to the same month last year, the government said Wednesday.
In January, 68,000 citizens of those countries arrived in Taiwan for tourism, in the largest rise of this kind in four years, according to statistics from the Tourism Bureau released by the Executive Yuan’s economic and trade negotiation office Wednesday. The office said that if economic development in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar kept roaring ahead, Taiwan’s tourism sector would benefit as visa waivers were introduced over the next three years.
At present, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines were the five most important sources of tourists in the group of 18, the office said.
The number of Thai tourists arriving in one month broke through the 10,000-barrier for the first time ever this January, partly as a result of a visa-waiver policy for citizens of that country introduced last August, reports said.
Since that moment, the number of Thai visitors had increased by 170 percent, according to some sources. Over the same period, there was a rise of more than 50 percent for tourists from Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia and India, reports said.