Taiwan’s largest travel fair attracts big crowds

Thousands of people flocked to the the 2016 Taipei International Travel Fair (ITF) on its opening day Friday, with many of them lining up in drizzly weather to bid for promotional travel offers.

Liang Pei-chi (???), the first one in the queue, said she came to the fair at around 9 a.m. -- three hours before the doors opened -- to get discount airline tickets for the coming Lunar New Year holiday.

"Whatever the economy is like, some people are always passionate about traveling," Liang said, adding that she comes to the event every year.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the fair also saw redoubled efforts from several foreign tourism offices, including the Guam Visitors Bureau and the Marianas Visitors Authority office in Taipei.

While "Ms Guam," travel ambassador for the U.S. territory, participates in the event each year, the office this year introduced "Mr. Guam" as well, in its efforts to promote the island.

"Taiwan has become an increasingly important market for Guam, as it is our third-largest tourist source after Japan and South Korea," said bureau account manager Jason Liu (???).

The Marianas Visitors Authority office also announced at the fair selection rules for its fourth "Intern to the Marianas" program, with the winner entitled to a monthly stipend of NT$60,000 (US$1,900) to promote the U.S. territory on-site.

The ITF, which this year features 1,450 booths with 950 tourism organizations from 60 countries and regions, is aimed at attracting 350,000 visitors during the four-day fair, and generating NT$3 billion-worth of business opportunities, according to its organizers, the Taiwan Visitors Association.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel