Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Taipei inks pact with Hamamatsu

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government yesterday signed a tourism exchange agreement with Hamamatsu, Japan, in a bid to expand the city’s tourism market in Japan as the number of Japanese tourists visiting Taipei increases.

More than 93 percent of the 3 million Japanese who visited Taiwan last year went to Taipei, statistics from the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism show.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said he expects the signing of the pact to promote tourism between the two cities.

“Taipei and Hamamatsu have established a good friendship over the years, and the agreement will promote more city exchanges and boost tourism in the two cities,” he said at Taipei City Hall.

Hamamatsu Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki arrived in Taipei for the signing ceremony at the head of a 40-member delegation.

Suzuki said representatives from his city will attend Taipei’s Hot Spring Festival in October because Hamamatsu is also known for hot springs. Youth music groups from Taipei will also be invited to attend a youth music festival in his city in August next year, he said.

Fifteen Hamamatsu city councilors expressed interest in Taipei’s public bicycle rental system, Youbike, so the Taipei City Government organized a bike tour using the rental bikes.

This year, 520,000 Japanese have visited Taipei so far, spending more than NT$14 billion (US$467 million), government statistics show. More than 40 percent of them have visited Taipei more than once.

Hau said the number of Japanese tourists is expected to continue to rise.

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