- They argue the island should negotiate less-demanding terms with Thailand, whose citizens are allowed visa-free entry to Taiwan
- Taipei government has tried to attract visitors from Southeast Asia amid drop in number of mainland Chinese tourists
South China Morning Post
Date: 3 Dec, 2019
By: Lawrence Chung
Taiwan’s travel agents have accused President Tsai Ing-wen’s government of allowing the island to be humiliated by failing to demand reciprocal visa-free treatment from Thailand.Their complaints came after Thailand introduced stricter visa requirements on Monday for individual visitors from Taiwan, including submission of financial statements, which they said was demeaning for Taiwanese customers.
“This is really humiliating, just like some developed countries in the West that require visitors from the Third World or poorer countries to provide financial statements out of concerns that those visitors might end up becoming illegal immigrants,” Hsiao Po-jen, president of Taiwan’s Travel Agent Association, said.
Self-ruled Taiwan is among 18 jurisdictions whose citizens are affected by the new visa requirements to enter Thailand. Individual travellers from Taiwan must provide details of their finances to obtain a tourist visa, complete a visa application and pay online before booking an appointment in Taipei to submit their passport, along with proof of onward travel and accommodation.
Before the change, applicants needed to visit the Thai visa office, complete an application form, and submit a passport photo and copies of their identification and passports before obtaining a visa the same day. [FULL STORY]