Taiwan becomes the latest country to ease visa requirements for Chinese passport holders. China is one of the top visitor sources for Taiwan. However, the country traffic slowed down when governments of both the countries had some arguments. Things got worse during local elections in Taiwan as the Chinese government implemented a strict group travel rule to Taiwan, something similar to the China’s quasi-travel ban for South Korea. However, some Taiwanese travel experts blame the change in visa rules for Chinese passport holders.
China and Taiwan are very close geographically, which is the reason Taiwan has to maintain strong visa rules but has been successful in attracting a high number of Chinese tourists. To visit Taiwan, Chinese tourists, whether traveling in a group or alone need to demonstrate a bank balance of NT$200,000. Taiwanese Ministry of the Interior is planning to lower bank guarantee requirements to NT$100,000 so that more people can afford traveling to Taiwan. According to Taiwanese National Immigration Agency, Chinese visitors are conducting illegal activities, which has become a significant concern for the country’s government.
Hsu Chien-lin, head, National Immigration Agency, said that there had been cases where Chinese people come to Taiwan as tourists but actually have the intention of earning money by performing on the streets. He said that if they come to Taiwan with the real intention of tourism, then they will have a hotel reservation and a rough idea of their itineraries. However, he doesn’t feel that previous tightening of visa requirements resulted in the drop of Chinese tourists.
Will have to wait and watch
If the number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan increases after lowering bank guarantee requirements, it will be clear that strict rules didn’t stop them. If it remains the same, then it was because of the problem between the two governing bodies.