In an attempt to shore up MICE traffic from Indian shores, Taiwan intends to highlight its streamlined, group visa policy – which makes it easier to obtain visa for corporate travel Arthur Hsieh, Director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Singapore Office, talks about Taiwan’s tourism products and latest footfall trends.
Share with us some key trends in footfalls from India in 2016. What are some key source markets for Taiwan and where does India stand on the pedestal?
India is one of the prime markets for generating tourist traffic and is now considered one of the largest outbound markets in the world. Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata are leading source markets for Taiwan and important for us. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau is investing in India in a major way with both B2B and B2C campaigns. For a vast market like India, the market spend has increased exponentially in the last couple of years.
Given that there are a plethora of offerings like Beaches and adventure, nightlife and water-based activities, what is it that the Indian outbound, especially, takes a liking to?
Indians are becoming increasingly adventurous and thirsty for new destinations and experiences. Taiwan is catching the Indian travellers’ attention and there is a growing interest in this beautiful island, thanks to its superb location (a mere 6-hour direct flight from New Delhi); and because it offers the perfect amalgamation of fabulous food, superb night life and night markets; hot springs; culture; history and stunning natural beauty. Also Taiwan is one of the unexplored and upcoming destinations of South East Asia which makes it a unique offering for the adventurous Indian traveller waiting for new experiences and destinations in travel.
How big is shopping as a tourism activity? What is the percentage of Indian outbound that heads to Taiwan purely for leisure? How big is MICE?
Shopping in Taiwan is plentiful and varied. Whether a tourist needs to pick up a quick item at a convenient store or find a bargain at the night market, Taiwan has it all. The country is fast gaining popularity as a shopper’s paradise much on the lines of Thailand and Singapore.
Taipei has just opened its doors with the Gloria Outlets that is the first US style outlet shopping mall. While flying in or out of Taiwan, visitors can pick up all big and luxury brand names at huge discounts.
Leisure travel to Taiwan constitutes a major chunk of the total visitor traffic. Taiwan is fast emerging as one of Asia’s preferred destinations for hosting MICE. MICE movement is on an upswing too thanks to its central location, first-class facilities and vibrant economy. To boost MICE traffic Taiwan has intensified efforts to gain publicity about the streamlined group visa policy in a bid to attract more Indian tourists.
Is there a realistic number you wish to achieve, in terms of Indian outbound into Taiwan? How would you define Taiwan’s USP? What makes it distinct from other Asian destinations?
What makes Taiwan unique is that it’s at Asia’s heart with a combination of stunning cultural sites, great food, shopping and the warmth and hospitality of its people. Taiwan’s a fusion of tradition with new trends. Its special characteristics and diversity present what is precisely a microcosm of Asia.
It has an immensely rich cultural and spiritual heritage, amazing food, world-class hot-springs and stunning scenery. “Taiwan – The Heart of Asia” has been voted as the ‘Best Value Destination’ for 2015 by Lonely Planet as well. This year, we plan to lay more emphasis on promoting the cities of Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Sun Moon Lake which are must-see in Taiwan!