Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tourism Bureau to raise marketing to Philippines

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Tourism Bureau is planning to raise the budget for tourism marketing campaigns in the Philippines as a follow-up to the visa-waiver program for Philippine tourists that took effect yesterday.

The budget earmarked for tourism campaigns in the 18 nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy is to be raised by NT$100 million (US$3.31 million) to NT$300 million next year, the bureau’s International Affairs Department Director Cheng Ying-huei (鄭瑛惠) said, adding that NT$20 million of the amount would be allocated to the tourism campaign in the Philippines.

About 200,000 Philippine tourists visited Taiwan between January and September, Cheng said, adding that the number registered a 70-percent increase compared to the same time last year, thanks to the government’s policy of streamlining visa application procedures for tourists coming from some “New Southbound Policy” countries.

“We anticipate a three-percent increase in Philippine tourists next year, with the introduction of the visa-waiver program and the increase in the tourism campaign budget,” she said.

The bureau invited Philippine TV personality Maggie Wilson to Taiwan in September, prior to the launching of the visa-waiver program, to film a commercial to promote tours in the nation.

The bureau said that the 60-second commercial features several tourist attractions in both eastern and western Taiwan, including the Taroko Gorge (太魯閣峽谷), the citron daylily fields in Taitung, and Kaohsiung’s Love River, which showed riverside shops and markets.

The commercial was produced to be aired in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries during the fourth quarter of this year to encourage more tourists to visit Taiwan during the Christmas holiday, the bureau said.

In addition to raising the tourism campaign budget, the bureau plans to form a group of officials from different government agencies to promote tours to Taiwan in major Philippine cities, it said.

The Philippines is closest to Taiwan compared with other nations targeted by the government’s policy, the bureau said, adding that its average annual economic growth rate has reached 6 percent.

About 12 million people who reside in Manila and its suburbs comprise an emerging group of wealthy individuals known as the “new rich” class and are “very likely” to travel abroad, the bureau said.

Since the beginning of this year, the bureau has increased subsidies for corporate tours from the Philippines, it said, adding that it has also worked with cruise line operators to launch sea routes between the Philippines, Kaohsiung and Hong Kong in an effort to maximize the number of Philippine tourists traveling to the nation.

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