Taiwan’s tourism sector is witnessing a robust recovery, with the Taiwan Tourism Administration (TTA) reporting that from January to August 2023, over 380,000 tourists from the Americas visited Taiwan.
Remarkably, more than half of these visitors traveled for business, exhibitions, and sightseeing. This figure represents about 77% of the pre-pandemic numbers, indicating a promising resurgence.
A significant contributor to this uptick is the increase in direct flights between Taiwan and the United States. StarLux Airlines, in particular, made headlines by launching its inaugural flight to the US in April. Now, Taiwan boasts three international airlines offering services to North America. EVA Air serves eight destinations, China Airlines five, and StarLux Airlines is set to expand to two destinations by year’s end. This expansion in direct routes is not just a milestone but also a convenience boon for travelers from the Americas.
To further these efforts, the TTA, in collaboration with Taiwan’s MICE operators and the three major Taiwanese airlines, made a significant appearance at IMEX America in Las Vegas. This business promotion event was an opportunity for the TTA to highlight the ease of Taiwan-US direct flights. They also pushed for the utilization of the “Accelerating the Expansion of Attracting International Tourists Program.”
The Taiwan Pavilion at IMEX America 2023 was a resounding success, securing over 100 business appointments during the three-day event. With the theme “Embrace the Mountains, Sea, and Island,” the pavilion showcased Taiwan’s rich blend of natural beauty and cultural architecture. The majority of attendees at the pavilion’s group presentations were Professional Conference Organizers (PCOs), Destination Management Companies (DMCs), PR firms, and travel agencies, primarily from the USA and Canada.
Interestingly, this year saw American cities like Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco expand their exhibitions. European and Middle Eastern regions, including the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, and Dubai, also maintained a strong presence. This global participation underscores the importance of IMEX America as a platform for promoting MICE destinations.
The TTA highlighted a growing trend at the exhibition: the increasing participation of technology companies. Innovations such as AI, Chatbots, and various apps were on display, reflecting the evolving demands of the market. The integration of tech into exhibition activities is a clear sign of the times and offers valuable insights for future endeavors.
In conclusion, the strengthening ties between Taiwan and the US, especially in the realm of direct flights, are playing a pivotal role in reviving Taiwan’s tourism and business sectors. The future looks bright as both nations continue to foster these connections.