Tourism dollars predicted to flow into LA from Taiwan visitors after change in visa policy

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The number of Taiwan visitors to Los Angeles is expected to increase 25 percent next year, now that its citizens no longer need to buy visas on trips to the United States.

Visitors from Taiwan next year are predicted to spend about $234 million in the area, a boost to the local economy, according to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.

“Visa waivers – we’ve seen it in other countries – it will absolutely make a difference in increased travel,” said Patti MacJennett, a senior vice president with the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.

The cost savings is about $160 per visa, she said. Under the new policy, travelers that are on business and leisure trips less than three months no longer have to deal with applying for visas or undergoing an interview.

MacJannett said many Taiwanese travel to the U.S. for business or to see family. Taiwan is ranked as one of top ten countries that send visitors here. This year, tourism officials expect 100,000 Taiwanese visitors will come to Los Angeles.

From overseas countries, Los Angeles receives the most visitors from the United Kingdom, followed by China. 

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