Taiwan has 2 20:20 vision for Indian market

Sixty Stone Mountain in Hualien, Taiwan

Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) is stepping up its marketing and trade efforts in India as it sets a 20 per cent growth target from this part of the world by 2020.

The tourism bureau has come up with a new strategy for the Indian market termed ‘2 20:20’. By targeting two per cent of the high-income population in India as well as cooperate with the country’s top 20 top tour operators, TTB aims to increase tourist arrivals from India by 20 per cent by 2020.

Sixty Stone Mountain in Hualien, Taiwan

“Our main objective is to create awareness about Taiwan as a leisure destination in India. For example there are about 268 mountains in Taiwan higher than 3,000m, while in a destination like New Zealand there are only 10 such mountains. Taiwan is also very popular for its food tours. So, we will be promoting such sides of Taiwan through outdoor advertising and partnering with seven-star multiplex chain Inox,” said Trust Lin, director, TTB Singapore Branch.

TTB last year increased its marketing budget for India by six times, taking it to US$1.2 million annually. “We are looking to further increase the budget for the Indian market going ahead,” added Lin.

Taiwan’s growing interest in the Indian market also comes amid dwindling tourist arrivals from mainland China, Taiwan’s traditional main source market.

This is also in line with Taiwan’s new Southbound policy, which focuses on the 18 international markets making up 25 per cent of the destination’s international arrivals. India, with its base still relatively low with 38,000 arrivals, will be the main target market.

“Taiwan is still a new market to India. A market like Singapore which has almost same flight time from India as Taiwan receives 1.3 million Indian tourist arrivals, while our numbers are very low. We will also collaborate with other destinations like Singapore to have twin city tours to promote Taiwan in India,” said Lin.

“A lot of Indians opt for cruise holidays. We are the number two cruise destination in Asia and every year we have more than 600 ports of call to visit Taiwan. So, we will be promoting Taiwan as a cruise destination in India as well,” Lin further said.

TTB is also keen to promote Taiwan for film and television serial shoots in India which it believes will go a long way in promoting Taiwan as a leisure destination here. It plans to introduce this year a new online training programme for Indian travel agents which will provide certificates to agencies who successfully complete the training and a chance to win complimentary trip to Taiwan. TTB will also promote its incentive scheme aimed at Southbound countries in India.

“If one is handling a group of more than 50 pax staying in Taiwan for more than three nights, they qualify (for an incentive of) US$26 per pax. In addition we can cooperate with PCOs for joint marketing. We are keen to project Taiwan as a new incentive destination in India,” said Lin.

“The challenge still remains of the perception about the destination and awareness among travellers. Taiwan will have to constantly engage and work closely with the tour operators and on the other hand continue with marketing initiatives promoting Taiwan as Asia’s best kept secret,” said Vineet Raina, founder & managing director, Pink Elephant Sport & Pink Elephant Journeys.

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