Taiwan seeks at least 300,000 Filipino tourists in 2018
Taiwan targets more than 300,000 Filipino tourists to visit this year, owing to the visa-free policy that has been in place since late 2017, a top official of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) said.
Alfred Y. H. Wang, Teco director under its economic division, said the number of tourists in the last quarter of last year almost doubled compared to the same three-month period in 2016.
Amid improving relations between the Philippines and China, Taiwan started offering visa-free treatment to Filipino tourists in November last year. This allowed Filipino tourists to travel to Taiwan for 14 days at a time.
According to official data from Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, Filipino tourist arrivals increased by 68.59 percent to 290,784 last year from 172,475 in 2016.
The last quarter of 2017 alone saw an increase of about 70 percent to 90,000 Filipino tourists from 52,000 to 53,000 tourists in the comparative period in 2016, Wang said, who said it was due in part to the visa-free policy.
He noted that Taiwan intends to get 90,000 tourists for each quarter of 2018, hitting around 360,000 Filipino tourist arrivals.
However, the visa-free treatment, which only covers a 9-month trial period, is scheduled to end on July 31 this year, according to Teco’s official website.
“We try to negotiate with the Meco [Manila Economic and Cultural Office]. So, hopefully, it will still extend because this measurement can make filipinos know more about Taiwan,” he said.
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