The Philippines will provide online travel permits to provide more convenience for increasing Taiwanese visitors starting next month.
Minister Samson T.L. Chang, Deputy Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines, announced this Tuesday night after the Taiwan Tourism Promotion Workshop at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza hotel in Pasay City.
”Starting July 1, 2015, the Philippine government will be launching the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system to provide increased convenience to Taiwanese visitors who can apply for and obtain an entry permit to the Philippines via online,” Chang said.
For the first quarter, Chang said that tourism between the Philippines and Taiwan had a strong start this year, “and is continuously growing.”
From January to March 2015, Chang said some 32,409 Filipinos visited Taiwan, which is 9.03 percent higher than the same period last year.
On the other hand, Taiwan is the top 8th contributor to international arrivals in the first quarter with some 42,441 Taiwanese visiting the Philippines, a 37.66 percent increase compared to the same period last year. This arrival figure represents 18.12 percent of the total tourist arrivals in the Philippines in the first quarter of this year.
”We believe that geographic proximity and travel convenience will continue to be catalysts for the strong tourism growth,” Chang said.
National Palace Museum Taiwan
Chang added that Taiwan is just less than two hours away, with air links between Taipei/Kaohsiung and Manila operated daily by China Airlines, Eva Air, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Pacific Air.
Since Feb. 13 this year, Philippine Airlines has operated direct flights between Taipei and Palawan, offering more travel convenience,” he said.
Chang said Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel-book publisher, has listed Taiwan as one of the world’s 10 Best-value Destinations for 2015.
Taiwan delivers great all round value. Taipei is significantly cheaper than Hong Kong, Seoul or Tokyo,” Chang said.
He said Taiwan has famous destinations like the 101-floor Taipei 101, formerly the world’s tallest building; and the National Palace Museum which houses more than 700,000 artifacts and artworks. Inhabitants of Taiwan’s Orchid Island also speak the “ivatan” language, similar to the residents of the Philippines’ Batanes Islands.
Chang added that Taiwan’s diverse culture, delicious foods, night markets and hospitality make Filipino visitors feel at home.
”I would like to invite our Filipino friends to visit Taiwan, to experience Taiwan’s unique charm and to feel at home outside the Philippines, I promise you will not be homesick, and that Taiwan is closer than you think,” Chang said.
Among those present during the event were Philippine Travel Agencies’ Association (PTAA) president Michelle Victoria; Director E-Shu Tsao and Marketing Manager Kuan Chia-Ling of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau; and Director Chen Chia-Hsing from the Taiwan Visitors Association. (PNA)SCS/LAM