Taiwan extends special visa program for Vietnamese tourist groups

By Hoang Phong   July 21, 2021 | 04:21 pm GMT+7
Taiwan extends special visa program for Vietnamese tourist groups
Travelers arrive at Taoyuan International airport in Taoyuan, Taiwan, March 18, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Ann Wang.
Taiwanese authorities have agreed to extend a special visa program for high-end tour groups from six countries, including Vietnam until the end of 2022.

The decision was reached at a meeting on April 12 in preparation for the resumption of international travel in the post-pandemic era, Focus Taiwan reported Tuesday citing a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The visa program, a part of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy to establish closer ties with selected nations, make it easier for citizens of Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to visit Taiwan by applying for electronic visas without paying related fees.

The policy, first introduced in 2015, also allows simplified visa procedures for groups of five tourists or more from the six countries, as long as they are organized by accredited travel agencies.

In 2019, Taiwanese authorities temporarily suspended the issuance of electronic visas for Vietnamese tour groups under the special program following the infamous case of 152 Vietnamese tourists going missing en masse after arriving in the territory on tourist visas.

Later, Taiwanese authorities resumed the visa program under stricter regulations.

In recent years, Vietnam has been among the biggest feeder markets for Taiwan’s tourism boom. In 2019, the year before the onset of Covid, Taiwan welcomed over 777,000 Vietnamese tourists, a year-on-year increase of 26.5 percent.

 
 
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