In the face of declining exports and diminished economic growth, the Executive Yuan announced on August 20 that it was raising the number of Chinese tourists granted Free Independent Travel (FIT) visas by 1,000 per day for a new daily total of 5,000.
Raising the number of Chinese allowed to travel under the FIT program is just one of several policy initiative revealed by National Development Council Minister Woody Duh. Also disclosed were initiatives waiving visa entry fees for tour groups from several South and Southeast Asian countries, including India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, and reducing the threshold for tourists to claim sales-tax refunds on their purchases. Duh also said that companies with overseas offices would be encouraged to bring their employees to Taiwan for meetings or visits under a new program that would waive visa fees for such visitors. These initiatives are expected to increase tourism revenue by some NT$8.85 billion by the end of 2015, the NDC said.