Like many other countries, Taiwan dropped its COVID entry requirements in October 2022. With no tests or certificates required, visitors were free to enter the country as normal to explore.
However, despite the easing of requirements, tourist numbers are at an all-time low, which is why the country has now introduced a new scheme. The tourism industry struggled hugely during the pandemic as it had in place one of the longest border closures in the world.
Things are about to change though. In an effort to lure more people to visit, Taiwan will now be paying prospective visitors a financial incentive so that they can consider exploring the country.
Cash incentives are uncommon, yet Taiwan is all in when it comes to incentivising visitors. Home to tropical beaches and mountainous surroundings, it really is a shame that tourist numbers are low. But that’s okay as the country’s new scheme will be a surefire way of attracting the masses.
So, what is Taiwan offering visitors?
According to a report by The Telegraph, “the East Asian island hopes the offer of £137 ($165) for 500,000 individual tourists and allowances of up to £547 for 90,000 tour groups will help achieve its goal to welcome six million tourists back this year.”
This will be offered to cover any expenses such as food and accommodation with hopes to attract people from Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, as well as travellers from as far as Europe and America. Speaking to the Taipei Times, the director of the tourism bureau, Chang Shi-chung said, “the money will be given out through multiple tourism promotion events this year, rather than giving it all out at once.” At the current moment, plans are in the pipeline to distribute the money via an electronic ticketing card which can be used when visitors arrive in Taiwan.
According to The Telegraph, “the tourism authorities hope to lure some 10 million visitors by 2025, approaching the record 11.8 million international travellers who arrived in the year before the pandemic.”
In 2022, tourist numbers were low. Taiwan saw around 900,000 visitors in the year with many of them from countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan and the USA. Whilst this may sound like a lot, the numbers are shocking when compared with a whopping 11.8 million visitors that visited in 2019.
As of today (28/2), no announcement has been made as to when the program will begin and how visitors can apply.
Main Image Credit: Thomas Tucker (Unsplash)
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]