The Tourism Bureau is planning to issue vouchers to foreign visitors to help the tourism sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The queue is long, stretching from the entrance of the famous soybean milk store on the second floor to the first floor. Tourists have slowly returned after the opening of the border. A Singaporean tourist who came to Taiwan for the second time said that he has learned that Taiwan will hold a drawing for spending vouchers for tourists. He is ready to come to Taiwan again with his friends.
Tourist: “It's a good plan because we come here looking to have fun. In fact, you gave us such discounts, we will spend it here.”
I will definitely come again. When we saw that report yesterday, I thought to myself we must come back with friends.
Tourist: “Yeah, I think that people would come, for you know, this lottery. I think it would be an extra incentive.”
The idea of the tourist vouchers is to stimulate inbound tourists to spend in Taiwan, so no cash will be issued. The program will target individual travelers from various countries, and will draw winners through irregular marketing activities in the next three years. Tourists will be able to collect the e-voucher of NT$5,000 at a special area in the airport after they arrive in the country. This marketing program will be launched in April at the earliest. The Tourism Bureau is currently cooperating with the three major national airlines to discuss marketing activities.
Huang Shih-fang, Director, International Div., Tourism Bureau: “We are already in contact with the airlines. They want us to match the program's timing with the so-called off-peak season because they think travelers can't buy airline tickets during the peak season. Thus, the incentives will actually be ineffective and a bit of a waste of money.”
Some tourism experts reminded that the tourist spending vouchers should prevent Taiwan from becoming a "cheap tourist destination." The Ministry of Transportation and Communications responded that after the pandemic, countries are vying for international tourists. This is a short-term program and will not be a normal subsidy.