Taiwan officially reopened the borders on Oct. 13. International tourists arrived for visits, and local tour groups also departed to travel abroad.
This couple is very excited to be able to finally go on their honeymoon. They have made all the preparations to travel abroad during a pandemic, including stocking up on rapid tests, Chingguan Yihau, and vitamins.
Ms. Jan, Honeymooner: “We postponed our wedding by one year because of the pandemic. We finally got married last Saturday, and we're leaving for our honeymoon today. I'm most looking forward to eating tom yum goong and going to the beach.”
Mr. Huang, Honeymooner: “I'm really excited to travel abroad with my wife for the first time. This is our first time going abroad together. (Yes, the first time we're traveling for fun.) They finally opened the borders and lifted the quarantine requirement.”
Many people chose to get out of Taiwan on the day that the borders reopened. Some said they do have concerns about the epidemic situation in other places, so they chose to go to nearby countries and with tour groups so that they would have a tour group leader to look after them.
Liao Shu-hsuan, Tour Group Leader: “I'm finally taking a group to Thailand after two and a half years. (This is your first post-pandemic group, is there any added psychological pressure? A lot of pressure?) There are some, but Thailand is a country that I know very well.”
Huang Hsin-chuan, Travel Agent: “About 30 to 40 percent of the air routes have been reinstated. I think the entire market and our current situation will only reach 30 to 40 percent of the previous peak period.”
Travel agencies say they expect both inbound and outbound tourism to surge once the arrivals cap is lifted and flights resume. During the past two weeks, about 5,000 to 6,000 people signed up to join tours. Fifty percent are heading to east and north Asia, 30 percent to Europe, and 20 percent to other Asian countries. Another surge is predicted for next year's 10-day Lunar New Year holiday. Meanwhile, 2,000 travelers arrived in Taiwan between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. They were processed smoothly at the airport. Taxi operations were also smooth, but those wanting to take the metro had to wait until it opened at 6 a.m.
Fan Hsiao-lun, CEO, Taoyuan International Airport Corp.: “Everything went smoothly, including the distribution of rapid tests, immigration inspections, and customs.”
(Taoyuan International Airport MRT) should open earlier. It should conform to flight arrival times. That will make things more convenient for travelers from abroad. Taoyuan International Airport Corporation said there are many transport options for inbound travelers, and there has also been a surge in family and friends picking up and dropping off passengers. It added that adjustments to public transport are needed to reflect flight arrival times.