Taiwan will pay you to come visit in an effort to woo back tourists

February 23, 2023, 3:40 PM UTC
Taiwan is offering tourists $165 to come visit.
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People might be traveling again after the pandemic, but prohibitively high airfares are keeping them away from areas that used to be tourist destinations. Now, one of those is fighting back.

Taiwan will offer the U.S. equivalent of $165 to a half-million tourists, part of a multimillion-dollar program to attract visitors to the island. Visitors will have the option of receiving the money via electronic transfer or through discounts.

Tour groups of eight or more are being wooed with incentives of up to $658.

$165 might not sound like a lot, but given the strength of the U.S. dollar in Taiwan, it could stretch a fair way. The average hotel in the country costs just $67 per night, by some estimates (depending on where you stay). Meals can run for under $5. And many attractions are free.

The incentives come after Taiwan saw less than 1 million visitors come to the country last year. Compare that to nearly 12 million in 2019, which was a record. The disparity was due to the country closing its borders until last October, as part of COVID protocols. The country has also suffered as China has not yet included it on a list of permitted destinations for tour groups.

Before you book your trip, though, it’s worth noting that the government hasn’t yet announced when the promotion will begin.

Taiwan’s not the only country in the region desperately trying to win back tourists. Hong Kong recently announced plans to give out a half-million plane tickets to the country. Those tickets will be released via a lottery in three waves, starting next month.

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