TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After more than a year of preparation, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications opened a regional office of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on March 15.
In accordance with the New Southbound Policy, the new office will manage tourism promotion in Vietnam as well as Laos and Cambodia.
The office’s first director, Chou Hsinyi (周欣毅), will aim to strengthen communications and relations with local travel agencies, airlines and media to organize activities that promote tourism to Taiwan from Vietnam.
Vietnam is expected to see an increase in international travelers over the coming years, and the Tourism Bureau aims to make Taiwan an attractive destination for prospective travelers in Vietnam and neighboring countries.
Over the past four years, Taiwan has seen a significant increase in visitors from Vietnam. In 2015, there were reportedly over 146,000 Vietnamese tourists, while in 2018 that number had increased to over 490,000.
Coinciding with the opening of the Ho Chi Minh tourism office, Taiwan is also once again accepting Vietnamese citizens for a revised version of the "Kuan Hung Pilot Project" (觀宏專案), an e-visa program designed for short term visits to Taiwan for residents of Southeast Asia.
Vietnam was temporarily removed from the program after a large group of Vietnamese people disappeared in Taiwan last December and had to be tracked down and deported by the National Immigration Agency.
The current Kuan Hung visa program is set to run until the end of 2020.