Promoting Taipei’s Premier MICE Environment with Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines Industry Professionals
Taiwan offers regular flight service to and from Southeast Asia destinations. The Singapore, Malaysian, and Philippines tourism markets have long been familiar for Taiwan travelers. In recent years, the government’s New Southbound Policy has heightened mutual economic and tourism exchange. From June 24 through June 30, the Department of Information and Tourism (DOIT), Taipei City Government, with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), is jointly staging Meet Taiwan Networking Events in Southeast Asia promoting Taipei City’s high-quality MICE environment.
In March this year, DOIT promoted Taipei City MICE in Shanghai and Beijing, and at the beginning of June it participated in the first TAITRA overseas promotion events in Northeast Asia, traveling to South Korea (Seoul) and Japan (Fukuoka and Osaka), staging dedicated promotion activities. Now, continuing to actively expand potential MICE business opportunities, DOIT has teamed with 4 travel agencies, 2 meeting/exhibition companies, and the Nangang Exhibition Center to participate in the second series of promotion events being held in Southeast Asia – in the Philippines (Manila), Singapore, and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur). The goal is to master the development and marketing strategies of Asia’s MICE cities. Each year Singapore is ranked 1st in Asia as a host city, and Malaysia possesses a special religious background, with a uniquely attractive MICE environment developed. The Philippines, building on its distinctive food and drink, natural landscape, and other unique local features, has developed a new-choice MICE city for Asia. Southeast Asia countries are emerging as MICE markets for Taipei City, and it is seeking to learn from the MICE marketing strategies of other Asia cities, as well as city marketing success stories, to garner holistic economic benefits and to enhance Taipei’s visibility and image.
The Southeast Asia promotion events are primarily targeted at introducing industry professionals to Taipei City’s diversified MICE Sponsorship Program, Taipei Double-Decker Sightseeing Bus, and Taipei Fun Pass, as well as what is currently one of the hottest topics in Asia’s culinary circles, the Michelin Guide Taipei. In addition, some of the most popular gift buys with visiting tourists are being presented on-site for guests to sample – pineapple cakes and nougat candy. DOIT has also specially prepared combination gift packages containing Chili sauce from Din Tai Fung, a restaurant bestowed with a BIB Gourmand rating by Michelin, along with Taipei Double-Decker Sightseeing Bus one-day tickets, presenting them to participating industry professionals at on-site activities. The prize-winning guests also, after listening to a briefing on Taipei learning that the city’s delicious night-market foods have in fact been specially recommended by Michelin, are expressing enthusiasm at the idea of eating their way joyfully through Taipei’s great cuisine using the Taipei Double-Decker Sightseeing Bus service and special maps with the Michelin Guide Taipei’s starred and BIB Gourmand restaurants. TAITRA is adding to the excitement by presenting big airline-ticket prizes at the three events. Hence, as well as acquiring information on Taipei’s high-quality MICE environment and world-class meeting/conference and exhibition facilities, industry professionals attending the events can get a personal taste of Taipei’s unique culinary specialties and garner airline tickets to personally come to Taipei to play.
DOIT Senior Specialist Chuen-Huey, Jiang has stated that this promotion campaign also includes tourism information specifically for Muslim MICE travelers, with Muslim-friendly accommodations and tour itineraries provided. According to the 2018 Global Chuen-Huey, JianTravel Index, Taiwan has for the first time moved into the list of top 5 non-Muslim destination countries for Muslim travelers. In order to create an even more inviting Muslim-friendly environment, Muslim-dedicated prayer rooms, courtesy prayer mats, Mecca direction signs, and purification facilities have been set up in more locations. The number of Muslim-friendly accommodations has also been increased in tandem with annual Muslim festivals staged. Such initiatives reach out to Muslim residents and Muslim visitors to Taipei as demonstrations of the city’s inviting and open-hearted warmth and hospitality.
According to data compiled by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications: The number of visitors to Taiwan from January through June 2017 was 5.124 million. Among these, the number from the 18 New Southbound Policy countries was 1.103 million, a growth rate of 37.4% and accounting for 22% of the total, demonstrating rapid market expansion. Among the three Southeast Asia lands (Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia) being visited on this excursion, Singapore and Malaysia are major New Southbound Policy tourist-source markets, and the Philippines is a growth market. Therefore Taipei, as the capital of Taiwan and possessing both rich tourism resources and a comprehensive MICE sponsorship program, is looking to take full advantage of its convenient geographical location and must actively and systematically open up the Southeast Asia market.
In order to encourage the choosing of Taipei for more incentive-travel tour group outings, meetings and conferences, and exhibitions, this year DOIT has restored the National Palace Museum tickets so popular with international MICE visitors. It has also added such popular items as preferential-discount Taipei Double-Decker Sightseeing Bus tickets, the Taipei Fun Pass, and lecture speaker expenditure support. The Department of Information and Tourism continues in its systematic efforts to attract enterprises to stage MICE activities in Taipei with its annual sponsorship program, actively engaging in efforts overseas promoting Taipei as a corporate incentive-travel destination, dedicated to making Taipei a preferred MICE choice in the Southeast Asia market.