In a move designed to increase the number of visitors to the region by 30%, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has recently announced that cruise ship passengers hailing from Asia and India will be issued instant visas upon arrival. According to the China Times, the move is hoped to tack an extra US$57 million onto the annual tourism revenue report. The new procedure is scheduled to launch as soon as the third quarter of the year.
What’s in it for Taiwan?
Deputy Director for the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Liu Hsi-lin has revealed that cruise passengers make up for around 570,000 of the country’s 9 million annual foreign visitors. With the average daily spend for Chinese visitors sitting at between US$100-500 the encouragement of international guests into the country represents huge financial opportunities.
What are the changes?
Initiated in collaboration with the National Immigration Agency, the new arrangement will remove bans against Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian and Filipino passengers, instead offering them quick, easy and hassle free visas which will be approved upon arrival to Taiwan. The cruising concept is rapidly gaining popularity in such Asian countries which means Taiwan has had to adapt in order to reap the benefits of international tourism.
Are there any wider benefits?
The bureau has also been negotiating special arrangements for Chinese cruise passengers which will offer them access to permits and visas required to pass through the Taiwan Strait. This is primarily designed encourage additional business as a result of Chinese tourism.
The cruise industry is booming in Asian regions with China predicted to boast the largest cruise ship market in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020. With 280,000 of China’s 1.4 million cruise ship passengers sailing to Taiwan, the new visa arrangements are a business savvy move that will undoubtedly bring immense benefits to both the tourism industry and the national Taiwanese economy.