From September 6, 2018 Russians will be able to visit Taiwan without visas. Tour operators expect a favorable effect from the innovation, but they note that visas are the only reason for a small number of tourists from Russian Federation in Taiwan. Visa-free regime for Russians is introduced as an experiment. It will last from September 6, 2018 to July 31, 2019. Russians will be able to stay in Taiwan without a visa up to 14 days if they come to the island for tourism, business purposes, family visit and participation in an exhibition or for the purpose of international exchange. According to a representative of China Travel Company, the news about the temporary abolition of visa regime revived the market. "If we take the statistics of our web-site, the popularity of the Island has grown 400 times", - says the Head of the marketing department of the company Evgeny Glotov. However, the demand and interest of tourists is not significant. "Probably, many thought that this is an inexpensive direction and then found out that this is not so. The cost of the tour to Taiwan starts from $ 1,000 per person, there are no direct flights here", - the expert explains. Taiwan has not yet enjoyed a massive interest of Russian tourists. According to the official statistics of the island, in 2017 only 9,226 Russian citizens arrived in Taiwan. This, however, is 15.8% more than in 2016. In this number, experts believe, the share of business tourists arriving in Taiwan with business purposes (business trips, negotiations, etc.) is quite large. Classic tourists from Russia usually come to the island as part of combined tours, for example, Hong Kong - Macao - Taiwan. Tour operators do not expect a significant increase of the organized tourist flow to Taiwan in connection with the abolition of visas. However, the innovation will undoubtedly favorably affect on the direction and can also increase the interest of independent tourists. In addition, a trip to Taiwan will be cheaper for Russians: earlier it was necessary to pay from 100 US dollars for a visa. Market participants note that the main restrictor of the tourist flow from Russia to Taiwan is not the cost of tours and the presence of a visa regime, but the lack of information about the direction - both among tourists and travel agents. Translated from AtoRus
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.