The Taipei International Travel Fair opened yesterday with dozens of foreign embassies and representative offices hoping to catch the eyes of visitors with their country’s exhibits.
The annual show, held until Monday at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, is one of Taiwan’s most popular travel shows and has exhibitors from more than 40 countries, including more than 30 foreign ambassadors and representatives.
Taiwan’s Caribbean allies and the Philippines were among those that had their diplomats on hand to encourage people to visit their countries and offer attractive travel ideas.
The booth of Saint Kitts and Nevis welcomed guests with prize-winning games and cultural activities.
“Our goal and our aim are to expose the Taiwanese public to this new and alternative destination,” Saint Kitts and Nevis Ambassador Jasmine Elise Huggins said. “[We hope] to convince them through the activities that we have here at the booth and through educational campaigns with our brochures and by speaking to them, they will be inspired to go to Saint Kitts and Nevis.”
One of the country’s highlights that might interest travelers is the Saint Kitts and Nevis National Carnival, Huggins said.
“It runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2, and this is where you have activities like pageants, indigenous music competitions, and dancing on the streets from dawn until the sun comes up,” she said. “It is a very joyful time, very relaxed, very happy.”
Another Caribbean ally with major celebrations is Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which is promoting the “Vincy Mas,” a 10-day carnival celebration held annually in June and July.
“This is the hottest carnival in the Caribbean,” Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Andrea Bowman said. “Taiwanese would love that, and what is represented is festivity, a lot of spectacles, competition, dancing, eating, just having a wonderful time.”
Also welcoming Taiwanese visitors is Saint Lucia Ambassador Edwin Laurent, who hopes by later next year to work with travel agents to set up packages to visit his country.
“They will see our beautiful mountains and the romantic scenes of family as we are very family friendly,” Laurent said. “Also, we’ve got the hot springs where one could treat the skin with special volcanic mud.”
Hazel Habito Javier, director of the Philippines’ Department of Tourism in Taiwan, was at the show to remind Taiwanese of the beauty of her country and to welcome potential tourists when the Philippines reopens for tourism.
Asked when the restrictions might be lifted, Javier said hopefully early next year, as an increasing number of people become vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Philippines.
“Actually, Taiwan is our No. 5 source market, so that’s why this market is very important to us,” Javier said.
A total of 331,792 Taiwanese visited the Philippines in 2019, Taiwan Tourism Bureau data showed.
Organized by the Taiwan Visitors Association, the show is one of the biggest tourism-related trade events in the region and attracted 384,834 visitors in 2019, although it only drew 76,876 visitors during the first two days of ast year’s edition because of COVID-19.
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