Wed, Jul 23, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Chinese tourists could boost tourism expo business

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The 2009 Taipei Tourism Exposition could attract as many as 150,000 visitors and generate NT$100 million (US$3.29 million) in revenue, as the influx of cross-strait tourists is expected to provide a substantial boost to the show’s business opportunities, organizers said yesterday.

Formerly called the Taiwan Tourism Exposition, the annual trade fair held every May attracted 85,000 visitors and tens of millions of dollars in business transactions this year by selling tour products and travel services such as “passport tickets” for package tours that included hotel reservations and tour bus fares to travelers who wish to tour Taiwan or other destinations.

“The opening to more inbound Chinese tourists is expected to create more business for the fair as well as for local travel agencies,” said Peter Ying, assistant chairman of the Taipei Association of Travel Agents (TATA), the organizer of the event, at a prelaunch press conference yesterday.

As part of his pledge to improve economic ties across the Strait, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has agreed to allow more Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan, which, along with the cross-strait weekend direct charter flights launched on July 4, is expected to bring an estimated US$1.87 billion to Taiwan in tourism revenue every year.

TATA said that the size, attendance and number of exhibitors at next year’s show could double.

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