Twelve thousand Chinese are scheduled to visit Taiwan in the next few months, with the first group arriving on March 14, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.
The visitors will be employees of the direct-marketing firm Amway China, taking incentive tours organized by the company.
Amway Taiwan president Martin Liou (劉民雄) said that only those who had generated annual sales of 1.2 million yuan (US$175,000) would be visiting. Seven groups will arrive on cruise ships from next month through May. Each group will consist of about 1,600 employees.
Liou said the ships would disembark at Keelung Harbor. The employees will attend a two-day seminar before visiting tourist attractions in Taipei, Taichung and Hualien. Meanwhile, facilities at the old Taichung Airport in Shuinan (水湳), which is no longer in use, will be renovated and turned into a venue for evening banquets and events.
Amway China has set a budget of NT$500 million (US$14 million) for the visits to cover employee expenses on food, lodging, transportation and gift purchases. Employees are expected to spend about NT$120 million during the visits.
Tourism Bureau Director General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said the tour group would be the largest this year. Given its size, the bureau would handle their application as a special case.
Earlier this month, Japanese cosmetic firm POLA also rewarded its 1,300 sales representatives with a trip to Taiwan. It was followed by travel groups organized by Japan’s Daihatsu Motors, which sent 1,310 of its diamond-class sales managers to Taiwan on a four-day tour for top employees.