Aims to augment the scopes of connectivity
In sync with the 2-20:20 vision rolled out by Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) and having realised the importance of the prospects from the India market, the tourism board aims to reach the targeted numbers this year. On the sidelines of unveiling the new marketing strategies during the first set of roadshows in India concluded recently, Dr. Trust Lin, Director, Taiwan Tourism Bureau Singapore Office underscores the significance of India market while sharing that the budget for investing in the country has increased to ten-folds within two years. Since the tourists are arriving by the busload to stroll through the alleys of Taiwan like a local, Lin also excitingly announces 2020 as the year of ‘Mountain Tourism’ while the current year being that of ‘Small Town Ramble’
With international inbound to Taiwan mounting a level up each year, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) is rigorously initiating its trade engagements in its potential markets like India. The Tourism Board recently hosted its Indian trade colleagues at a series of roadshows held in New Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad between May 16 and 22. The events brought workshops where attendees learnt more about what Taiwan had to offer to both leisure and MICE travellers. They also interacted with workshop delegates, who included TTB officials and its airline and DMC partners.
“We are receiving an utmost support from our headquarters as they see the potential of India as a key market. Therefore, we have started investing a lot starting from 2017 and budget for investing in India market has increased to ten-folds within a span of two years along with an increase in our partners. We started with our outdoor campaigns from the end of last year through promotions in airports and high-end shopping malls and theatres in six major cities in India. We have recently hired a new PR company who is actively promoting Taiwan both in the B2C and B2B fronts, respectively. We will have a six-city roadshow in all tier I cities in two sets in the months of May and August other than which, we aim to participate in more trade exhibitions other than the popular ones. We shall extend our presence to travel trade shows that also go out to the tier II markets. Additionally, we are looking at organising several educational workshops or seminars other than having an internet-based webinars for conducting online-training programs,” Lin shares enthusiastically.
“Our second campaign will focus on online-based promotions and marketing as Indian visitors not only use the Google search engine but rely on other online channels as well, when it comes to travelling. This year, we will also cooperate with Indian OTAs and extend our association with airlines as we are looking forward to multiple airlines, apart from the existing ones, for introducing a direct connectivity between India and Taiwan. We are also looking prospects in the twin-city tours (Taiwan to Hong Kong; Taiwan to Thailand or Taiwan to Singapore) to gain higher momentum in influx from India.”
Last year, the bureau expanded its annual marketing budget for the India segment to USD 1.2 million — a six-fold increase. A bigger budget is on the cards which is in line with TTB’s recently rolled out ‘2-20:20’ vision. The next set of roadshows in Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai are expected to be held between August and October 2019.
Speaking further about enhancing the flight connectivity, Lin shares, “We are looking forward to introducing a new airline for non-stop service between India and Taipei. We are still under negotiation and are positively waiting for the announcement. Other than this, we are in talks with the Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways for the twin-city tour packages.”
Ramble around Taiwan like a local
As a popular destination among Indians, many of the travellers would have preferred Taiwan to indulge in their food, night markets, scenic lush green mountains, beaches, high speed trains and more. But by following the guidebooks religiously and checking off every activity on the pages, we’re may have been missing out on many authentic local experiences Taiwan has to offer and TTB, on this front, is ardently working towards highlighting the existing scopes and attractions in Taiwan. “This year, we are encouraging tourists to travel like a local in Taiwan and promoting the year of ‘Small Town Ramble’ so that people can experience Taiwan in the local way whereas, the year 2020 would be ‘Year of Mountain Tourism’ as we take pride in possessing around 2068 mountainous landscapes, higher than 3,000 metres, on such a small island that requires more promotion. Next year, we shall be focusing on the high mountains and would be promoting hiking, trekking and mountain adventures,” Lin informs.
By providing sufficient marketing support to the airlines, travel agents and tour operator to help them introduce new packages or products, TTB is therefore, prioritising a face-to-face connection between the DMCs and other partners for a better understanding of Taiwan’s tourism offerings. Plans are on the anvil for building the web-based education to an extent where even the tour operators can work independently without connecting with the DMCs. “My prime focus is to make the best of my trips to India for finding the best-possible partners from this market,” Lin asserts.
Australia and NZ, other key focus markets
To promote Taiwan as an ideal tourism destination, TTB’s Singapore Office last year, launched a string of marketing activities in Australia and New Zealand from August, creating a buzz in the two countries. The marketing initiative started with a partnership with popular Australian travel TV show host Jen Adams, who was invited to visit Taiwan in April where she wrote a memoir about her Taiwan adventure.
Also, according to the data released by the Tourism Bureau, the number of tourists from Australia and New Zealand to Taiwan exceeded the 100,000 marks in 2017. The number in July from Australia and New Zealand increased 32.20 per cent and 19.69 per cent, respectively, year over year, proving tourism marketing worked successfully over the years.
Hopeful of an encouraging growth for this year as well, Lin considers the increase in fast growth of interest from both these markets as remarkable. “Recently, Air New Zealand has launched a non-stop flight to Taiwan because of which, I expect to see double-digit growth from this market for sure. Starting from three flights weekly, connectivity between these two countries has boomed to five times weekly. Speaking of the Australia market, I can again claim for a double-digit growth as China Airlines has increased its frequency. Also, I foresee Taiwan becoming the hub between the continent and Europe as the Australian travellers halt at Taipei while visiting Europe, who may choose to stay back for a two to three-nights’ stopover trip at Taiwan,” he shares.