Explore Taiwan and Get Rewarded: $165 Worth of Perks for Tourists
Taiwan is making efforts to revitalize its tourism industry and has introduced a plan to offer cash or discount incentives to approximately 500,000 tourists this year, as part of an initiative worth NT$5.3 billion. The value of each incentive is estimated at NT$5,000 ($165), and it can be issued electronically or as a discount on accommodation. However, the criteria for eligibility have not been made clear.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications anticipates that these incentives will attract a larger number of foreign visitors to Taiwan, a nation that was formerly reliant on tourism for 4% of its GDP. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, Taiwan’s economy has suffered and is in need of alternative sources of growth, including tourism and domestic demand.
The government’s stimulus package, which includes a travel agency incentive of NT$10,000 for groups of eight or more tourists, and NT$20,000 for groups of 15 or more tourists, is part of its plan to draw six million visitors in 2022. Taiwan reopened its borders to Hong Kong and Macau visitors this month and attracted around 900,000 tourists in 2022 after reopening in October. However, given its reliance on exports, the country will need to boost activity through tourism and domestic demand if growth is to remain steady, especially with exports expected to decline in 2023.
While China banned individual tourists from traveling to Taiwan in 2019 and left it off a list of 20 permitted destinations for Chinese tour groups last month, other countries in the region are also seeking to attract tourists. Hong Kong’s “Hello Hong Kong” campaign is one such initiative, which will include the distribution of 500,000 air tickets.
Taiwan’s wider stimulus package, valued at NT$380 billion and financed by surplus tax revenue, includes provisions for the Taiwan Power Company and health insurance systems. Lawmakers are expected to approve the package’s specifics soon.