Thu, Aug 24, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Tourism Bureau meets with US travel agencies, urges CAL not to cut flights

Staff writer, with CNA, New York

The Tourism Bureau on Monday met with representatives of US travel agencies and urged China Airlines (CAL) not to cut its weekly flights to New York in an effort to extended a campaign to boost visitor numbers from North America.

A day after the 13th annual Taiwan Day at Citi Field in New York, held in collaboration with the New York Mets Major League Baseball team, Tourism Bureau Deputy-Director General Wayne Liu (劉喜臨) invited 50 travel agencies and 13 Taiwanese businesses to discuss how to promote the nation to travelers.

Bike Expo Magazine’s Sam Polcer shared his experiences of cycling throughout Taiwan, saying the opportunity to explore the nation’s geography, culture and food in a short amount of time is an untapped attraction.

Local businesses recommended increasing the number of flights between Taiwan and North America, and the need to include Taiwan in package tours of Asia, something US travel agencies do not offer.

It has been rumored that China Airlines could suspend direct flights between Taiwan and New York.

However, Liu said the bureau would continue to communicate with the airline to urge it to not only maintain the five weekly direct flights, but add more.

China Airlines and EVA Airlines offer 11 direct flights between Taiwan and New York, and with United Airlines and Air Canada vying to enter the market, the bureau is hoping to make Taiwan a staple tourist destination for visitors from North America.

The number of visitors from the US reached 520,000 last year, Liu said, adding that he is optimistic that this year it could reach 600,000 given the 10 percent year-on-year increase in US visitor arrivals in the first half of the year.

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