Filipinos Now Enjoy Visa-free Travel to Taiwan

As the month of November kicks off, Taiwan’s trial for visa-free travel system for Filipinos likewise commenced.

On the first day of November, the first plane carrying Filipinos from Manila landed in Taipei as Taiwan’s 9-month trial for visa-free travel system for Filipino visitors begun.

Based on statistics, there are more than 200,000 visitors from the Philippines came to Taiwan since January to September this year alone, a significant increase of 70 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

The Manila Economic and Culture Office in Taiwan is quite pleased with the Taiwanese government’s decision to provide Filipinos with visa-free entry to Taiwan for a maximum of two weeks for tourism, business, visiting family or relatives and other purposes.

The agency’s Deputy Representative, Carlo Aquino, claimed that he anticipates that the program will open the doorway for all Filipinos who wish to visit Taiwan but were previously hindered by the country’s stringent visa requirements imposed by the Taiwan office in Manila.

The program is slightly aimed at preceding the government’s ‘New Southbound Policy” that includes the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 6 South Asian countries and both Australia and New Zealand.

The program hopes that visitors from those countries could counterbalance a significant fall in tourists from mainland China, which had replaced Japan in being the biggest source of visitors back in 2010.

In August last year, Taiwan saw a significant increase in visitors from ASEAN countries since it relaxed its visa rules for them. In fact, more than 200 million of them visited during the year before that, an increase from nearly 1.5 million in the previous year.

So far, Malaysia and Singapore are already enjoying full-pledged 30-day visa-free entry to Taiwan, while the same currently applies to Brunei and Thailand, but only during the said trial period, which will last on July 31, 2018.

Aizelle Joe