Fri, Nov 12, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Travel fair offers surprises

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

There will be more to find than you can imagine at the upcoming Taipei International Travel Fair as exhibitors have promised to offer special tourism packages -- and even a free high-altitude flight to experience weightlessness.

Hailed as one of the capital's top three exhibitions, the four-day event starting next Thursday will feature nearly 450 local and foreign exhibitors, including tourism bureaus, travel associations, airline companies, travel agencies and cruise companies, according to the organizer Taiwan Visitors Association (台灣觀光協會).

"In line with the government's `2004 Visit Taiwan Year' strategy to boost tourism, we've expanded the scope of the fair to cover 150 more exhibitors than last year and expect to lure 100,000 visitors," said Brian Chen (陳俊成) of the association's marketing section.

Integrating global tourism resources, the fair will be divided into five main areas -- three of them showcasing distinctive tourism features from Taiwan, the Asia Pacific and other continents (Europe, America, Africa and Middle East), and two others targeting student travelers and travel-related information, Chen said.

In the Taiwan section, Taipei City Government has organized 21 exhibitors in the Taipei pavilion, dubbed the "Taipei Love Mall," to present the capital's culture, architecture, cuisine, hot springs and other sightseeing spots in celebration of the 120th anniversary of the city's charter.

"The fair is to facilitate exchanges among Taiwanese and foreign travel proprietors," Jason Lin (林志盈), commissioner of the city government's department of transportation, said at a press conference yesterday. "But it also benefits fair visitors, especially residents in the Greater Taipei area, as a wide range of discount travel packages will be offered."

One highlight of the fair should be the chance of winning a free trip to Russia and the chance to experience weightlessness at 20,000m above ground.

The prize provider, King Cruise Tours Inc (金科國際遊輪旅行社), said visitors buying a NT$2,000 (US$60) book introducing Russia's space ships and ocean liners at the company's booth will win a draw ticket for the eight-day trip.

While the activity will be conducted until May next year, a lucky winner will hail from every 500 book buyers, the company's president Cruise Ko (柯鐙鏜) said. In other words, the company will hold one draw per every 500 books sold.

The trip, including a visit to the Baikonur space center in Moscow and a weightlessness flight, is worth NT$700,000.

Held at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall I between next Thursday and Nov. 21, the fair will be open to the public during the last three days.

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