Tue, Nov 18, 2003 - Page 10 News List

International travel fair is a success, participants say

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

After the severe impact of the SARS outbreak on the local tourism industry earlier this year, this week's Taipei International Travel Fair (台北國際旅展) is being seen as a great opportunity to further boost business, the organizer of the show said yesterday.

"The annual travel fair is a platform for the industry to lure customers," said Kitty Wong (黃潔儀), marketing director of the four-day Taipei International Travel Fair. "Customers can find preferential plans offered by hotel operators and discounted travel packages promoted by travel agencies in the fair."

Taipei International Travel Fair has been the most significant event for the tourism industry since it was held for the first time in 1987. This year's fair has attracted 400 exhibitors from more than 50 countries and regions around the world, exhibiting at 538 booths.

"We have seen more than 73,000 people have visited the fair over the past two days and we expect the total number of visitors for this year to exceed that of last year, which amounted to 85,000," Wong said.

Jeff Chiu (裘以杰), sales supervisor of Promised Land Resort & Lagoon (理想大地渡假飯店), which opened last year in Hualien, said that his company attracted more customers than last year.

"We offered customers a discount package priced at NT$3,500, which originally cost NT$7,150, for a 16-ping room with a double bed for two. We have sold more than 600 packages worth NT$2.1 million, which went beyond our initial expectations," Chiu said.

Japan remains the country with the largest presence, with 54 booths presented in the fair. Tsugio Kurumisawa, deputy director of the Japan Tourism Association's Tourism Development Department, said they expected to lure more Taiwanese visitors to Japan.

However, one visitor felt the show was not international enough. Wu Ming-fen (吳明芬), a 32-year-old cosmetologist, complained that she could not find enough information at the fair.

"I hope the organizer can attract more participating organizations from European and American countries for customers like me," said Wu.

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