BACK TO NORMAL. Taoyuan International Airport is Taiwan’s largest and busiest airport, located about 40 kilometers west of the capital Taipei. It reported that in August, passenger volume exceeded 480,000, more than three times the average of the previous seven months. (Facebook)

MANILA – Filipino travelers are encouraged to explore Taiwan now that borders have been reopened to tourists.

Taipei had further eased entry restrictions since October, allowing travelers to visit Taiwan by undergoing a "self-initiated prevention" instead of a quarantine.

Travelers aged two years old and above will be given four rapid test kits which they can use to monitor themselves upon arrival.

“The first day you are in Taiwan, you are free. You can go to any place you like," said Peiyung Hsu, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines representative, during a recent travel fair in Taguig City.

"Taiwan offers foreign tourists unique travel experiences, apart from enhanced facilities and service quality, including food tourism, leisure farms, bicycle tourism and many more," he said. "We wholeheartedly welcome more Filipino friends to visit, eat, and do shopping in Taiwan. I believe you will find it one of the safest, most interesting and hospitable destinations in the world."

Prior to the pandemic, around 510,000 Filipino tourists visited Taiwan under its visa-free privilege, which was piloted in 2017.

This year, Taipei reinstated the program that will run until July 31, 2023. Visa is not required if a visitor is staying for a maximum of 14 days and is non-extendible.

Keen to fast-track its tourism sector's recovery, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau had been boosting promotions for its travel products to attract international tourists, especially its railway and food tourism.

"With Taiwan's travel requirements relaxed, I hope to see more Filipino tourists enjoy the beauty of Taiwan," Hsu said. (PNA)