Mayor of Taipei Ko Wen-je in India to promote Taipei City

To help open the Indian market, Taipei City Government has entered into a strategic cooperation initiative with China Airlines, the only Taiwan operator offering direct flights to New Delhi.


TAIPEI CITY is promoting itself as a must-visit for international tourists. With a focus on Asia and “Go South” learning, Mayor Ko Wen-je recently headed a “New Go South” expedition, which on its last stop, came to India. The goal was to open up market opportunities and to conduct capital city diplomacy and tourism promotion. The Mayor introduced three Taiwan “National Treasure” artists, Chu Lu-hao, Liao Chung-chih, and Chang Chen-chieh, who jointly presented a performance showcase of Taiwan culture. In addition, preferential Taipei-travel incentives were presented to encourage related India enterprises and group travelers to visit. Measures designed to entice Bollywood directors and crews to visit Taipei for film shoots were also discussed. It is part of Taipei’s quest to vie with the world’s other major international cities for a slice of the big South Asia tourism-market pie.

The Mayor of Taipei, Ko Wen-je also announced Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan as the host city for the 2017 Summer Universiade. The Universiade is an international multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The name is a combination of the words "University" and "Olympiad".

Second to the Olympic Games, The Univesiade is staged every two years in different cities. The Summer Universiade consists of 14 compulsory sports and up to 3 optional sports chosen by the host country which includes Archery, Athletics, Basketball, Fencing, Football, Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Judo, Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Volleyball.

The 12 days sports event is the only summer multi-sport event in the world that connects students at both academic and athletic levels and is broadcasted by more than 100 TV channels.

Talking about the upcoming event, Ko Wen-je, Mayor of Taipei commented, "This is a very exciting opportunity for Taipei in terms of growth in tourism and visibility in the sporting arena. We are expecting a large number of tourists and participants from India during the event. We invite tourists from India to come and enjoy the city of Tapei and everything that it has to offer in terms of a buzzing night-life, cosmopolitan culture, fantastic food and historical sites apart from a world class sporting infrastructure.”

India has a population of 1.33 billion, second in the world. Since 2015, the number of citizens traveling outside its borders has exceeded 20 million annually. However, the number for Taiwan hovers around 30,000. For Taiwan, then, in terms of tourism India can be seen as virgin territory. Indian travelers with special dietary requirements because of their religious beliefs can choose from over 100 vegetarian, Indian, and Thai restaurants in Taipei. In addition, the new Taipei Sightseeing bus service now in operation, joining the Taipei Metro, YouBike public bike-rental, and other services, along with the city’s other highly diversified travel and tourism resources, precisely satisfies the convenience and freedom from excessive DIY-travel planning that Indian travelers prefer.

Mayor Ko came to India as part of a Southeast Asia information-gathering mission. He said, “Although the people of Taiwan see India as being very far away, there are in fact similarities. India was the first country in Asia to implement democracy, and strongly encourages citizen discussion and debate as well as citizen political participation, integrating public opinion. Today the city of Taipei follows the same path, actively encouraging citizen participation in political affairs,” he said.

To help open the Indian market, Taipei City Government has entered into a strategic cooperation initiative with China Airlines, the only Taiwan operator offering direct flights to New Delhi. Brand new FUN TAIPEI travel products (6D5N, 2 to Go, from INR53, 499) have been brought together, and launched in the “6 Reasons to Love Taipei” India-edition Taipei travel package. These include an introduction to friendly dining and accommodation, a Taipei Sightseeing double-decker bus buy 1/get 1 free ticket offer, a free-entry voucher for the Taipei 101 Observatory, and preferential coupons with a total value of over NT$60,000. Sponsors include hotels such as the Regent Taipei, Sherwood Taipei, amba Taipei Ximending, Courtyard Marriott Taipei, Grand Hyatt Taipei, The Gaia Hotel, and SweetMe Hot Spring Resort, plus KinRaku Foot Massage, which are offering room upgrade, stay 1 night/free 1 night, and other offers. Elsewhere, preferential shopping recommendations and offers meeting Indian travelers’ needs are being offered by the TenRen’s Tea, Kuo Yuan Ye, inBlooom, and Ever Rich Duty Free Shop chains, plus Syntrend Creative Park, on tea-leaf and vegetarian-food souvenir purchases, cultural-creative goods, upscale designer-brand goods, and consumer electronics. Indian visitors using the FUN TAIPEI travel package will enjoy great value for their money while exploring Taipei.

The Taipei City Government unveiled an incentive-travel program specifically targeted at attracting Indian enterprises. This includes applications for MICE sponsorship supporting China Airlines charter flights for incentive-travel tours to Taipei. Other bonuses include a free ticket for each visitor from India to the Taipei 101 Observatory. Visitors can apply for the FUN TAIPEI packages at local China Airlines offices and participating travel agencies, and exchange Taipei 101 Observatory vouchers for tickets at the Taipei Metro’s Taipei 101/World Trade Center Station upon presentation of voucher and passport.

To promote film and TV tourism, the Taipei City Government invited three Taiwan national cultural-arts treasures to present a joint performance. Chu Lu-hao, Liao Chung-chih, and Chang Chen-chieh, who gave a creative presentation of the classic Taiwanese opera work Wang Bao Chuan to cello accompaniment, integrating elements of Debussy’s “The Clown” and the Monkey King character from “Journey to the West” as interpreted in Zhu Lu Hao’s “Monkey King Steals the Moon.” The innovative presentation of “national treasure” creativity was a dramatic showcase of Taiwan’s cultural dynamism. As well, a Taipei tourism seminar was held in Delhi unveiling an incentive program designed to attract Bollywood directors and production crews to Taipei for film shoots. Commissioner Chung Yung-feng of the Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the expert on Indian culture Wu De-ming, and numerous Bollywood directors and actors engaged in productive interchange, and are looking forward to working together to promote cooperation.

Chien Yu-yen (Jane Yu), the Commissioner of the Taipei City Government’s Department of Information and Tourism, stated that the decision to hold the Taipei Fun Night at the Taj Hotel Group's famed flagship New Delhi Taj Mahal Hotel because it has long been a preferred venue for international meetings, conferences, and other gatherings, and as a place for political figures to stay on official visits. The Taj Mahal Group’s guests have included Britain’s Prince William and Princess Kate as well as former US President Barack Obama. This was the first formal visit to India by a Taipei City delegation, with Mayor Ko Wen-je personally leading the heavyweight team, the goal to strengthen communication in all areas, from tourism to culture to public facilities – and even beyond, to human rights, philosophy, and religion. Details of the city’s comprehensive package of tourism and MICE travel preferential-measures program were announced, designed to stimulate Taipei-travel interest in the Indian market.

The Mayor also quoted a famous line from the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore: “Sometimes, two people who are complete strangers can indeed become intimate friends upon meeting each other.” The key goals for this southern tour are tourism promotion and city government interchange. Taipei City’s tourism policy is focused outward on the Asian international market, and the hope is that through entry into these countries, from impact on citizens of deep religious beliefs to folk culture to local living habits, in-depth understanding and deep friendships will be established, creating a brighter, friendlier future for all!

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