Sun, Jun 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan, Japan set target for yearly reciprocal visits

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan and Japan have established a new benchmark for the number of visitors traveling between both sides, setting a target of 4 million a year by 2016, Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau said.

Greeted by a video of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, about 200 travel representatives from the two countries set the goal at an annual tourism meeting that took place in Japan’s Mie Prefecture on Friday.

Travel between Taiwan and Japan reached an all-time high last year, with more than 2.99 million visits. About 1.43 million were Japanese tourists traveling to Taiwan, up 10.6 percent from the previous year, according to the bureau’s statistics.

The increase in travelers was a result of an increased number of direct flights and diversified travel packages, the bureau said.

A growing number of innovative tourism campaigns have also contributed to the market, including partnerships between landmark skyscrapers in each country, bureau officials said.

Earlier this month, the Taipei 101 Observatory in the nation’s tallest building and the Tokyo Skytree, the Japanese capital’s highest building, launched a cooperation deal aimed at boosting visitor numbers. Visitors to the Taipei 101 Observatory with an entrance ticket ending in the number 101, or every 634,000th tourist to the Tokyo Skytree, can win souvenirs from both towers.

In April, Taiwan and Japan signed a railway tourism project offering reciprocal train services under a ticket-exchange program.

Cheng Yi-ping (鄭憶萍), section chief at the bureau’s International Travel Division, said there will be more similar initiatives in the near future.

Japan’s NHK Culture Center is to hold a fair in Taiwan in November to enhance cultural understanding between the two nations, while Taiwan’s National Palace Museum is to hold exhibitions in Tokyo and Fukuoka next year, Cheng added.

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