Taiwan offers to pay $164 per traveller

 Friday, March 3, 2023 


In a bid to help boost flagging tourist levels, Taiwanese officials are looking to offer a financial incentive of 5,000 New Taiwan dollars (about $164) per traveler or NT$20,000 ($654) for group tours. The plan is going to benefit some half a million foreign tourists and is part of a NT$5.3 billion programme to attract international tourists.

The plan was designed to help the government reach its goal of 6 million visitors by year’s end.

Taiwan only reopened its borders entirely last October and it has since failed to attract even a tenth of the number of tourists it did in previous years. As a result, government officials are increasingly spending money in order to make money.

The financial package, according to Chang Shi-chung, director-general of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, would be transferred digitally to a form of tourist card, guaranteeing that all funds go straight back into the country’s tourism sector.

“International tourists who are given NT$5,000 will not receive it until they arrive,” Chang explained. “It will be stored in an electronic ticketing card, which can be used to pay for food, accommodation and other travel expenses during their time here.”

There is still no word on when or when these cash amounts will be awarded to tourists, just that they will be dispersed through a series of “promotional events” this year.

Taiwan’s effort comes as other countries in the area launch similar attempts to attract tourists. For example, the “Welcome Hong Kong” campaign includes the distribution of 500,000 flight tickets, among other benefits.

Taiwan attracted approximately 900,000 tourists in 2022 after reopening in October, according to a statement from Taiwan’s Transportation Ministry.

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