Gov't to offer mainland tourists re-entry permits for cruises
CNATAIPEI--Taipei will offer Chinese tourists double-entry permits to encourage them to take cruises in and out of Taiwan, Hsieh Li-kung, the chief of the National Immigration Agency, said Saturday.
December 30, 2012, 12:11 am TWN
Under the new measure, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2013, Chinese tourists may apply for a double-entry permit if they can show tickets for cruises from any port in the country or any other document showing a reservation on such a ship, Hsieh said.
The double-entry permit will allow the tourists to arrive in the country, either by plane or on a cruise ship, and then enter Taiwan again exclusively on a cruise ship that leaves and then returns to Taiwan, Hsieh said.
Tourists with the special permits can apply for rain checks from the agency if the cruise ships on which they have booked berths cancel trips because of mechanical problems or acts of God, Hsieh said.
As pleasure voyages on cruise ships are becoming more popular in the region, the agency hopes the new measure will boost their popularity and bring more Chinese tourists to the island.
Taiwan hopes to attract more than 10 million tourists a year by 2016, after breaking through the 7 million barrier this year, Hsieh said.
More than 2.3 million of the 7 million visitors were from China, according to Tourism Bureau statistics.