With the Taipei International Flora Expo concluding in late April, Taipei City Councilor Wang Shih-chien (王世堅) said the event’s financial impact and ability to draw tourists were failing to match Taipei City Government’s promises.
“When President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the expo was an international event that would attract money from foreign tourists, it was all lies,” Wang said.
“Since the expo started in November, most foreign visitors who have come to Taiwan chose to go to the National Palace Museum over the flora expo,” Wang said.
Statistics from the expo’s main office show that of the total number of people who visited the expo, only 6.3 percent were -foreign visitors.
Of that number, half were from Japan, while Chinese accounted for the other half.
“The Taipei government spent a lot of money on this ‘international’ exposition — one that is domestic instead,” Wang said.
“The city government spent more than NT$130 billion [US$4.4 billion] in government funds on the expo. While NT$4 billion was spent on advertisement, only NT$3.6 million was set aside for international advertising,” Wang said.
“With only two months left, the 8 million visitor mark set by Ma and Hau is unlikely to be met,” he added.
“The flora expo’s minimum forecast of 400,000 foreign visitors does not mesh with the goal of boosting the economy,” Wang said.