Tourism Bureau mulling new ways to promote Taiwan

New York-Taiwan's Tourism Bureau extended its campaign to boost visitor numbers from North America by meeting with with American travel agencies in New York on Monday and urging China Airlines not to cut its weekly flights to the Big Apple.

A day after the 13th annual Taiwan Day was held at Citi Field in collaboration with the New York Mets, Tourism Bureau Deputy-Director General Wayne Liu (???) gathered 50 travel agencies in the greater New York area and 13 Taiwanese businesses to discuss how to further promote tourism in Taiwan.

Sam Polcer of Bike Expo Magazine shared his experiences cycling around Taiwan, describing the opportunity to explore Taiwan's geography, culture and food in a short amount of time as an untapped attraction.

Local businesses also recommended increasing the number of flights between North America and Taiwan, and people at the meeting also brought up the need to get Taiwan on travel itineraries to Asia, something U.S. travel agencies are not in the habit of doing.

One area of concern is the possibility that China Airlines may suspend direct flights between New York and Taiwan, as has been rumored, but Liu said he would continue to communicate with the carrier to not only maintain the current five weekly direct flights but add more in the future.

Aside from China Airlines, EVA Airlines currently has 11 direct flights a week between Taiwan to New York, and with potential newcomers United Airlines and Air Canada vying to enter the market, the bureau is hoping to make Taiwan a staple tourist destination for visitors from North America.

The number of visitors from the United States to Taiwan reached 520,000 last year, according to Liu, who is optimistic that this year's number could reach 600,000 given the 10 percent year-on-year increase in U.S. visitor arrival numbers in the first half of 2017.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel