The Kaohsiung City Government should step up its marketing of the southern port city and organize evening entertainment to attract more tourists from Japan, Japanese tourism representatives told visiting Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) during a meeting in Tokyo on Friday.
Complimenting Kaohsiung for its warm weather and other attributes that encourage tourists to visit, the representatives said the city is not being marketed heavily enough.
They urged the city government to make tourism brochures easily available in Kaohsiung and to seek more media exposure for the city.
They suggested that the city government design package tours that would allow Japanese visitors to take the high speed rail to Kaohsiung for two or three days.
During another briefing of nearly 200 Japanese travel agents in Tokyo later in the day, Chen, who is heading a 10-member delegation, said that Japanese tourists can have health checks, enjoy beauty treatments, take wedding photos or spend their honeymoon in Kaohsiung.
Chen also said that Kaohsiung has preserved several buildings and sites constructed during the Japanese colonial period from 1895 to 1945 and that some of them were still in use.
These buildings and sites include a harbor, train station, history museum, a martyrs’ shrine and a 100-year-old railway, Chen said.
She also encouraged the Japanese to visit next year’s World Games, to be hosted by the city.
Chen’s promotion tour will boost Kaohsiung’s tourism by 20 percent to 30 percent, said Huang Chin-hsiang (黃金祥), an official with the Kaohsiung Association of Travel Agents.
Huang also forecast that the number of visits by foreign travelers to Kaohsiung would increase to 250,000 this year.
Some 190,000 of the 1.16 million foreign tourists who travel to Taiwan each year visit Kaohsiung, the government’s statistics showed.