The requirement for travellers from Taiwan to submit financial statements when applying for a visa to enter Thailand has been postponed. The postponement comes after the Travel Agent Association of Taiwan threatened to boycott tours to Thailand.
Thailand Trade and Economic Office (TTEO) in Taipei planned on implementing a new policy requiring tourist visa applicants online to submit a financial statement.
The new policy, which was to take effect on Sunday, applied to Taiwan, China, Britain and France.
Thailand’s TTEO said last week it chose Taiwan first implement the procedure, because it is a world leader in information technology.
However, travelers and travel agents in Taiwan have said that the policy is disrespectful of Taiwanese. Saying the government has humiliated the nation by agreeing to the arrangement.
The Tiawanese government said the TTEO decided on the policy for its own convienience.The Taiwan government had no involvenemnt in the decision.
Nearly 700,000 Taiwanese tourists travel to Thailand each year. Why do they still need to enclose a financial statement when they apply for visas? Taiwan is not a third-world country. The policy is just ridiculous.” the head of the Travel Agent Association of Taiwan said.
Association chairman Hsiao Po-jen said the government has waived the visa requirement for Thai tourists to encourage more to travel to Taiwan. But it allowed the Thai government to impose restrictions that hinder Taiwanese tourists.
He blamed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for being weak and believing that the matter is not under its purview.
The ministry should halt its visa-waiver program for Thai tourists, he added. Many people have also complained that they cannot access the new online visa-application system.
This was not the first time TTEO has come under criticism from enforcing unpopular policies.
Last year, the association protested the office’s proposed NT$470 visa fee increase. The association threatened to stop sending tourists to Thailand, which eventually caused the office to drop the idea.
Source: Tiapei Times