Taiwan may soon pay travelers a small stipend to travel to the island as it looks to boost its tourism numbers coming out of the pandemic. While details about how and when that money will be distributed are scarce, it could be a nice sweetener if you're considering a future trip to Asia.
The Taiwanese government recently announced it's planning to offer tourists 5,000 New Taiwan dollars (about $163) each to travel there, CNN reported. The financial incentive plan is part of the government's goal to attract six million foreign visitors to Tawain by the end of 2023 and 10 million by 2025.
Taiwan dropped its pandemic-related entry requirements in October 2022, one of the last countries in the world to do so. But, tourism hasn't bounced back yet with just under 900,000 international visitors last year, compared to a record 11.8 million in 2019.
The stipend will reportedly be available for only around 500,000 foreign visitors and will be given out through multiple promotional events throughout the year, according to the Taipei Times. The money will be distributed digitally to tourists after they arrive, and can be used to cover any of their travel expenses in Tawain, from food to lodging.
Taiwan isn't the first country in Asia looking to revive its tourism sector by paying travelers to visit. Hong Kong is giving away half a million free roundtrip airline tickets as part of its “Hello Hong Kong” tourism campaign to welcome back travelers now that pandemic restrictions have mostly gone away.
If you can score a cheap flight to Taipei City, this could be a deal worth looking into. And, you're in luck: With travel to Asia ramping back up, our team of flight deal analysts has been unearthing plenty of cheap flights to get there – whether you want to pay cash or use points and miles – and sends them straight to the inboxes of our Thrifty Traveler Premium+ subscribers.
Don't book your flights just yet, though. The government hasn't announced when the promotion will start, or how to apply to get the money.
With travel to Asia an option once again, Taiwan is the latest country looking to pay tourists to visit.
A $163 stipend will go pretty far in a place like Taiwan, but we'll have to wait to see how and when travelers can cash in on this deal – and whether it's worth the long flight to get there.
Thanks Allie for sharing. Taiwan is a great place to visit. Definitely worth the time.
(but fyi, it’s acknowledged around the world that Taiwan isn’t actually an official ‘country’, it’s a region…)
There are lots of strings attached including
1. option of having the NTD5000 (approx. US$165) put on an Easy Card that expires in 90 days. NTD5000 is way too much money on a stored value transit card. There are a few stores that accept the Easy Card as payment, but not very many. The biggest chain to accept it include 7-11, Family Mart, Carrefour, and CPC gas stations, as well as Taiwan High Speed Rail. A maximum of NTD1500 can be used at one merchant each day and NTD3000 used on one day.
If you are staying mostly in Taipei, it will be hard to buy enough snacks to use up the card.
2. The list of hotels that accept vouchers is limited. Only a few international brands locations accept them and, if they do, you have to book with their website (called “category 2”).