() — At a time when travel is making a comeback but rising airfares are making long-haul travel difficult for many, destinations are doing everything they can to encourage visitors to visit and boost their economies.
The most recent of these destinations is Taiwan, which plans to offer every tourist $165 to vacation there. Cash rewards will also be offered to tour groups to encourage them to visit the island.
Taiwan’s Prime Minister Chen Chien-jen announced Thursday that the government aims to attract 6 million tourists in 2023, double that number in 2024 and aim for 10 million visitors in 2025.
As an incentive, they will give grants of 5,000 Taiwanese dollars (US$165) to 500,000 individual tourists. Grants of up to NT$20,000 (US$658) will also be awarded to 90,000 tour groups.
Transport Minister Wang Kuo-tsai stated on Wednesday that the subsidy will be delivered digitally. Tourists will be able to use it to cover their expenses in Taiwan, including accommodation.
The minister added that the measures are intended to attract more visitors from key markets such as Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as Europe and the Americas.
Taiwan received just under 900,000 visitors in 2022, according to statistics from the Taiwan Tourism Office. Visitors from Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan and the US were the largest groups.
These numbers are a fraction of those in 2019, when Taiwan attracted a record number of 11.8 million international touristsmore than 7% than the previous year.
The island lifted its entry restrictions in October 2022, following one of the longest border closures in the world.
Are you ready to book? Do not rush. The government has not yet announced when the plan will start or how to apply for the money.
— Wayne Chang contributed to this reporting.