Taiwan is officially extending its visa waiver for Russian citizens until July 31st 2020 to encourage an increase in Russian tourism to the island.
On September 6th 2018 Taiwan announced that Russians would be allowed to visit Taiwan without visasfor up to 14 days if visiting for tourism, business, to see family or for some form of international exchange. Originally the program was only to last until July 31st 2019, but the success of the initiative has meant it is now being extended until July 31st 2020.
Official statistics for the island show that in 2017 only 9,226 Russian citizens visited Taiwan. Russian tourists usually visit as part of combined tours including other destinations such as Hong Kong and Macao. From January to May this year, almost 7,000 Russian tourists have visited Taiwan, double the number from the same time period last year. One incentive for Russians to visit the island is that they no longer have to buy a visa which previously cost $100 USD. Another incentive is the fact that two airlines have launched direct flights, flying weekly between Russia and Taiwan. Royal Flight has flights departing from Moscow and S7 has flights departing from Vladivostok. But Russian tourism in Taiwan has been relatively low compared with other popular destinations in Asia, mainly due to the lack of information about the islandamongtravel agencies and Russian tourists.
Taiwan is taking great measures to remedy this – in 2018 it participated for the first time in the OTDYKH trade fair, and this year has almost tripled the size of its stand, going from 18m2 last year to 50m2 this year. The aim is to strengthen ties between theRussian and Taiwanese tourism industries and to make information about Taiwan more readily available to Russian citizens.It also aimsto maximise the success of the visa-waiver program to encourage a greater flow of Russian tourists to Taiwan.
The 2019 OTDYKH expo is also very please to welcome a newcomer, the Taipei City, who joins the trade fair for the first time with an exclusivestand.
The 2019 expo will span across 15,000 m2 with a total of 180 speakers at 30 business events including workshops, presentations and seminars from industry professionals from all over the world. In 2018 the expo welcomed 38,000 visitors over the course of three days, and 287 media attendees from 80 media partners. This year will feature multiple conference halls with guest speakers and exclusive live performances.