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Hawaii Looking to Welcome More Visitors from Taiwan


Hawaii’s visitor industry is looking to benefit from the entrance of Taiwan in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program which began this month. Taiwan is the latest of 37 nations that allow travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.  
Visitor arrivals from Taiwan reached 8,186 visitors in 2011, and are projected to reach 10,642 in 2012. When South Korea became a part of the Visa Waiver Program in 2008, visitor arrivals were 38,110 and spending was $79.4 million. Since then, arrivals have increased close to 200 percent and spending 150 percent to more than 112,000 and $194 million respectively, in 2011. 
“Korea has become one of the fastest growing markets for our visitor industry and we expect to see similar growth out of Taiwan,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “With a population of more than 23 million, Taiwan is a vast market. And with the additional $2 million allocated by the 2012 legislative session for international marketing, the HTA will continue to work with its marketing partner, Hawaii Tourism Asia, to promote the Hawaiian Islands to this new and emerging market.” 
Air access to the Hawaiian Islands will also be an important factor for Hawaii’s visitor industry to see gains in arrivals and spending from Taiwan. Currently, China Airlines operates daily flights from Taipei to Honolulu through Narita. 
“We will continue to support our airline partners in reestablishing direct service to the Hawaiian Islands from Taiwan, which is also a transfer point for other parts of Asia,” added McCartney.
For more information on the Visa Waiver Program, click here or to view Mike McCartney’s statement, click here.

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