Taipei, A group of Russian tourism operators is touring Taiwan as part of Taiwan's efforts to promote travel here after announcing last month that it was granting Russian nationals visa-free entry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.
The ministry said last month that Russian passport holders would no longer need a visa for stays of up to 14 days, starting Sept. 6, and that the program, design to promote closer exchanges, would run until July 31, 2019.
To promote the new measure, Taiwan's Tourism Bureau has arranged for four groups of representatives from Russia's travel sector to visit Taiwan to learn more about its attractions, Grace Lo (???), deputy head of the MOFA's Department of West Asia and African Affairs, said Tuesday.
The first of the four groups arrived in Taiwan on Sept. 28 and is still in Taiwan, according to the Tourism Bureau.
The group from Vladivostok was scheduled to visit some of the most popular tourism sites across the island, including the Taipei 101 skyscraper, Sun Moon Lake, Taroko Gorge, Kaohsiung and Kenting during its stay in the country.
The group will also meet with Taiwanese counterparts, including major five-star hotels, to discuss possible cooperation in the future, according to the bureau.
The next three groups are scheduled to arrive later in October and in November, the bureau said.
According to MOFA, Russians citizens must hold a passport with at least six months of validity and a confirmed return plane or boat ticket and have no criminal record before they can apply to enter Taiwan visa-free.
They will be required to prepare hotel booking records, a local contact person and a financial statement for a possible check at Taiwan Customs.
MOFA will review the results of the trial run to see if the visa-free privileges should be extended, it noted.
The visa-free treatment is not reciprocal at this time, and Taiwanese travelers still need to obtain a visa for travel to Russia.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel