Greater Taichung has won its bid to host a major international floral fair in 2018, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said.
Hu said the city was granted the right to host the garden festival at the annual congress of the International Association of Horticultural Producers in the Netherlands on Tuesday, where Taichung Deputy Mayor Shyu Jong-shyong (徐中雄) made a final push for the city’s bid to members of the association, Hu said.
Hu described the floral festival as being on a par with the International Flora Expo which took place in Taipei in 2010.
Hu said the city government will use the Taipei expo, which attracted 8 million visitors, as a point of reference and will aim for an even higher attendance of 10 million.
However, what would set the Taichung fair apart from the Taipei festival is that it is to take place in a less urban area — a 0.81km2 site in the city’s Houli District, Hu said.
Hu also said he expects the fair to bring huge economic benefits to the city, likely generating between NT$40 billion and NT$50 billion (between US$1.35 billion and US$1.68 billion) in revenues.
The festival would also boost land development in Houli District and hopefully help it become a new flower wholesale center in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.
Hu said that the fair is estimated to require a budget of NT$11.5 billion, most of which would be funded by the central and city governments, with the rest funded by ticket sales and private sponsorship.
The festival is scheduled to take place from Nov. 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019, city government officials said.