Taiwan’s Tourism Future: Rebranding the Heart of Asia

In 2016, despite a significant drop in visitors from mainland China, Taiwan achieved a record high for inbound tourism, totaling 10.69 million tourists, according to the Tourism Bureau.

As the trend of decreasing visitors from mainland China will likely continue, the Taiwan government is taking steps to increase tourism from other areas, including Japan, Korea, and South and Southeast Asian markets.

Given the pivot in tourism strategies and target markets, it is imperative to rebrand Taiwan’s tourism promotion efforts to reach key markets and advocate for Taiwan’s core values and strengths. In the recently published 2017 Taiwan White Paper, the Travel & Tourism Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei proposes strategic measures the Tourism Bureau should implement to differentiate Taiwan and help it thrive as a tourist destination.

The Committee recommends focusing branding and promotional campaign strategies on highlighting the unique aspects of life and culture in Taiwan. The Committee’s position paper underscores, for example, that Taiwan is both modern and traditional. It is a fusion of Hokkien, Hakka, aboriginal, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. Taiwan is an attractive destination on many levels: it boasts breathtaking temples and the world’s largest collection of Chinese antiquities, its natural scenery is replete with beautiful mountains and seacoasts, its food is delicious and exciting, and its people are exceptionally warm and friendly. Taiwan has extensive and economical transportation options and, as the paper notes, “Taiwan is free of the street crime, religious tensions, and political instability that beset some other Asian tourist destinations.”

In its position paper, the Travel & Tourism Committee calls on the Tourism Bureau to work with branding experts to re-strategize Taiwan’s promotional tourism messaging and slogans. The Committee emphasizes that messaging should be dynamic, emotionally resonant, and tap into universally recognized pop culture.

To make Taiwan a more attractive tourist destination, the Committee also recommends taking steps to increase Taiwan’s accessibility for foreign independent travelers and applying international best practices to hotel booking and refund policies, one of the top priority issues for AmCham in the 2017 Taiwan White Paper.

To read the full Travel & Tourism position paper, click here.

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