Sun, Nov 04, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Taichung Flora Expo opens its three venues

TOURISM BOON:With a complete tour of the sites taking more than a day, city accommodation is likely to see a surge in business, a tourism association said

By Huang Chung-shan, Su Chin-feng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer and CNA

A flower-themed balloon floats at the Taichung World Flora Exposition during an opening-night event at the Taichung Gateway Economic and Trade Park yesterday.

Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times

The Taichung World Flora Exposition opened yesterday, featuring horticulture from around the world at three venues in Houli (后里), Fongyuan (豐原) and Waipu (外埔) districts.

The expo is held in cities around the world to promote gardening and horticultural design. The Taichung expo is the second time it has been held in Taiwan after the Taipei Flora Exposition in 2010.

The Taichung expo’s leopard cat mascots, Love and Life, were at entrances to welcome visitors.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said the preservation of leopard cats at Houli Horse Ranch and Forest Park, one of the three venues, was supported by the International Association of Horticultural Producers.

Visitor numbers reached 30,000 as of noon yesterday, according to the Taichung City Government, the event’s organizer.

The city government said that it expects 8 million people to visit the expo, with up to 6 million of them staying in the city — including 1 million foreign travelers — bringing revenue of up to NT$30 billion (US$976 million).

Expo spokeswoman Huang Yi-han (黃意涵) said that Taichung’s goal is to exceed the 585,000 international visitors who attended the Taipei expo.

Taichung has stepped up its global marketing campaign and established direct flights to the city, Huang said.

In June, flights began between Taichung International Airport and Narita International Airport in Japan — in addition to the 18 international routes established from 2015 to last year — which are expected to bring more than 1 million visitors to the city, she said.

Taichung International Tourism Association chairman Chai Chun-lin (柴俊林) said that it takes more than a day to see the expo’s three venues, which means visitors are likely to stay one or two nights, which would be a big boost for local businesses.

The first visitor to enter the Houli site yesterday was Atsushi Futakami from Japan.

He said he was a staff member at the 1990 International Garden and Greenery Expo in Osaka, Japan, and has visited flora expos around the world since then.

The city government advised people to use public transport to reach the venues to reduce congestion.

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