The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines once again partnered with Eva Air and local travel agencies in organizing the “Special Time to Visit Taiwan” promotional package tour for the second straight year. This is one of their many initiatives to promote the two-way tourism between Taiwan and the Philippines.
Given the program’s success in the previous year, TECO has decided to continue this campaign to allow Filipinos to truly experience Taiwan through very affordable means. This year’s package tour has experienced a significant increase as there are155 participants as compared with last year’s 80 attendees. This program was supported by many local travel agencies namely Everbright Travel & Tours Inc., Trusty Travel & Tours, Inc., and Horizon Travel & Tours Inc.
The package tour which occurred on September 21 to 24 includes the attendance to the “Asia-Pacific Cultural Day” and a guided tour around Taiwan’s famous and historical attractions.
The itinerary presented a combination of Taiwan’s go-to tourism landmarks and contemporary activities making it an enjoyable trip for all ages. The group explored the outskirts in the North-East area of Taiwan during their visit to YiLan site of the National Center for Traditional Arts get an in-depth experience of Taiwan’s diverse and unique local culture.
The participants also got the chance to experience some do-it-yourself activities like fruit picking at a leisure farm, cooking scallion pancakes, and participating in the lantern release at Shilen. Aside from these, they visited the famous attractions of Taipei 101 and the National Palace Museum. The package tour also included round-trip tickets from EVA Air, hotel accommodations, inland transportation and daily meals.
President Tsai Ing-Wen has launched the “New Southbound Policy” which aims to strengthen the partnerships and cooperation of Taiwan with its neighboring countries. The Philippines, given its proximity and many commonalities with Taiwan, is one of the most prioritized countries in pursuing these cross-cultural exchanges.
Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Representative of Taiwan (ROC) to the Philippines, foresees the package tour provide a good opportunity for Filipinos to gain a better understanding of Taiwan, and on the other hand allow Filipinos leave a good impression on the Taiwanese nationals.
To emphasize the growing relationship of Taiwan and the Philippines in the field of tourism, Representative Lin pointed out that there has been a 227.89 percent increase in Filipinos visiting Taiwan only for tourism purposes as compared to last year. From January to July 2017 alone, there were already 162,139 Filipino nationals that have gone to Taiwan, posting a 74.37 percent increase as compared to last year’s statistics. Around 68,186 of these are visitors.
Representative Lin also highlights the efforts of both countries in facilitating two-way tourism and people to people interactions. Taiwan has not only increased direct flights to the country but has also relaxed the visa requirements through the provision of the E-visa option and the free travel authorization certificate for Filipino travelers.
Taiwan has become more attractive to Filipino travelers while more Taiwanese nationals continue to visit the Philippines each year. This highlights a promising future in terms of this partnership and has paved the way for greater bilateral progress in the years to come.