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Friday, 30 August, 2019, 10 : 16 AM [IST]

‘Simplified & free e-visa is the key component of our messaging’



Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) in lieu to amplify its presence in the Indian market conducted roadshows spreading across Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. The aim has been to raise awareness of the destination across these key markets which have high outbound traffic, and to connect with the trade, said Dr. Trust Lin, Director, Taiwan Tourism Bureau Singapore Office in an interaction with Samruddhi Chitnis.

Q Could you elaborate on your ‘2 20:20’ marketing campaign?
The “2 20:20” strategy was put in place last year to grow the Indian traveller segment by 20% by 2020, targeting the top 2% of India’s high-end leisure traffic, working with the travel trade in India. We are looking at the top 2%, as these targeted travellers have traditionally been to Thailand, Singapore, Europe and the USA, and are now looking at newer destinations and experiences.

Q Why did you select the cities of Chennai & Bengaluru for conducting your second round of road shows?
These roadshows are a part of a larger six-city series we are conducting this year. We have completed our TTB workshops in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, and will conclude with Mumbai in October. Our aim has been to raise awareness of the destination across these key markets which have high outbound traffic, and connect with the trade this year. The response has been extremely positive with great turnouts throughout; Bengaluru and Chennai seeing 100 attendees each.

Q What was the message you wanted to disseminate through these road shows?
We wish to showcase everything that destination Taiwan has to offer for leisure and MICE visitors along with connectivity to the region through partners like China Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. One of the key components of the roadshow messaging was the greatly simplified e-visa process with no fees. For Indian visitors who have a visa for the U.S., U.K, Schengen or other European Union countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or Korea, even if the visa has expired within the 10 years of the visitor’s arrival in Taiwan, they are eligible for a free e-visa for 14 days stay in Taiwan. There is also a simplified e-visa process for groups (both leisure and MICE) with a minimum number of 5 pax, who enter and exit Taiwan together. Travel companies can get in touch with TTB India with details of the group, which are then sent to the hub office in Singapore. If the group is approved, an e-code is generated which can be used by the travel company to fill in e-visa applications for the entire group, for FREE!



Q How different is your strategy for B2B and B2C segments?
We do understand that there is much awareness to be built for both the B2B and B2C segments. On the B2B front; we assist the trade to educate them on the destination and help them create the product, equip them with book-ables and at the same time on the B2C side, we are building sustainable and measurable campaigns to inspire consumers with everything that destination Taiwan has to offer.

With an increase of the marketing budget in India to USD 1.2 million, we aim to showcase the island of Taiwan as a great destination with several enthusiastic Indian travellers being eligible for the free e-visa. The island is compact and easy to get around, and visitors can experience a rich landscape of mountains, coastlines, white coral beaches, cities and areas of natural and scenic beauty all within one destination and accessible for a 6-8 day holiday duration.



Besides the B2B programmes, the B2C outreach strategy on the other hand, includes tie-ups with Indian media companies, such as multiplex chain INOX Leisure Limited, to shoot a television series in Taiwan. A series of television commercials will be rolled out in the coming months. This campaign will promote Taiwan as a multifaceted destination while also enhancing specialised segments, such as golf clubs and cruises to drive the top 2% of the Indian market. Print and outdoor branding has been rolled out this year. On August 11, in association with the Mumbai

Metro, a completely Taiwan-branded train was launched with visuals of popular web-series stars, Sumeet Vyas and Sapna Pabbi on a vacation in Taiwan. The vibrant imagery highlights the great variety of holiday experiences to be discovered in Taiwan, ‘The Heart of Asia’, as well as its rich history and scenic beauty.

MICE is also a key focus area. We have recently had a group from Tata Steel where they enjoyed night views of the Tamsui River while enjoying a Taiwanese feast; 400 employees of Hyundai India and also Asus India’s incentive group.



Q What is the growth in number and percentage that Taiwan has witnessed compared to the last year?
The growth from India has been promising. We have witnessed 41,000 visitors from India in 2018, which is an increase of 17 per cent over 2017.

Q What kind of traction have you seen for the fly cruise market from India? Any specific trends or plans on that front?
Taiwan is ranked at number two cruise destination in Asia after China. Last year, Taiwan received one million cruise passengers resulting into USD one billion cruise revenue with 600 port calls. Princess Cruises/Star Cruises use Taiwan as their mother port. We also cooperate with other Asian countries like South Korea and Hong Kong. We will also be highlighting this aspect in our interactions with the trade along with leveraging this in our marketing campaign, like with upcoming TV commercials. The fly cruise market is very popular and we wish to push this in the cruise market growth here. Traditionally, we have worked with players like Cox & Kings, now we also wish to engage with the OTAs for this segment.



Q Do you have plans to work with any neighbouring country for joint marketing activities?
We would be happy to explore opportunities with some of the other Asian destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok where Indian visitors could combine a trip to these countries along with Taiwan. We have been discussing co-op opportunities with partner countries as well as airlines to shape these plans ahead for a mutually beneficial campaign in market.

samruddhi.chitnis@saffronsynergies.in
 
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