At least 300,000 Filipino tourists are expected to visit Taiwan this year due to the new visa-free policy that came into effect late last year.

According to Alfred Y.H. Wang, a director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO),  the number of tourists increased from 172,475 in 2016 to 290,784 last year, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Wang said this was due to the visa-free policy for Filipino tourists that was introduced in November last year. Filipino tourists can presently visit Taiwan, visa-free, for stays of up to 14 days.

He said that Taiwan expects to attract around 360,000 Filipino tourists this year. However the visa-free policy is only in place for a nine-month trial period, which comes to a close on July 31.

“We are trying to negotiate with the Manila Economic and Cultural Office to extend the policy because this measurement can make Filipinos know more about Taiwan,” Wang said.