The Taiwan International Orchid Show, one of the three major orchid shows in the world, will open in Greater Tainan next month.
“More than 1 million orchids will be on display at the show,” Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday.
The mayor said that he hoped the show, now in its seventh year after being launched at the Taiwan Orchid Plantation in 2005, would beat the attendance and sales numbers set last year.
Lai said the show’s targets were 400,000 visitors and NT$6 billion (US$201.5 million) in orders, compared with 320,000 visitors and NT$5.5 billion in orders last year.
Lai was pitching the Tainan orchid spectacle at a news conference organized by the Council of Agriculture to promote the March 5 to March 14 event and other smaller orchid exhibitions to be held at the Taipei International Flora Expo.
Taiwan’s floral exports were valued at US$149 million last year, with orchid exports accounting for US$116.56 million or 77 percent of the total, an increase of 36 percent from the previous year.
Honorary chairman of the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association, Lee Tsang-yu (李蒼裕), said that he expected that the value of orchid exports to grow by between 20 percent and 25 percent this year.
Lee said that even in 2008, when the global economic meltdown hit late in the year, the value of orchid exports still grew by 5 percent, compared with 20 percent to 40 percent growth in previous years.
“We did not see a decline in 2008 because demand in our major export markets in the US, Japan and Europe was still there,” Lee said.