MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2014) - To promote Taipei's meeting and conference industry and its incentive travel in the Asia-Pacific market, the Taipei City Government Department of Information and Tourism (DOIT) is this year for the first time participating in the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), being held February 18 and 19 in Melbourne, Australia.
Australia has been a pioneer in the global MICE industry, and the country's AIME gathering is an iconic annual event. According to the organizer, over 750 exhibitors from more than 50 countries are participating, and 3,200 professional buyers and members of the international media are attending. DOIT's participation in this year's AIME is to establish a solid foothold in the large Australia/New Zealand MICE market, providing expanded opportunities for the Taipei MICE industry.
DOIT Deputy Commissioner Chiu Peng-Hsin says that Taipei's advantageous position between Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, along with its convenient transportation, comprehensive living circles, safe public environment, and unusually diverse culture, and with the added bonus of its deep long-term experience in staging large-scale international activities, adds up to an Asian MICE city second to none. Chiu states that the city's distinctive characteristics and first-rate customized services have won it high favor in the international MICE market. In addition to exclusive tailoring for buyers to ensure provision of comprehensive administrative assistance, in recent years personalized single-window MICE service has also been provided. The city's unmatched flexibility in planning and administrative support has been a pleasant surprise and brought strong positive feedback from clients around the globe, and won the attention of a great many high-end decision-makers.
By way of example, in April 2013 the city was host for major Amway incentive-travel activities, with over 10,000 individuals staying at 5-star city hotels. In addition to bicycle outings during which the travelers enjoyed the lovely Taipei riverside scenery, a riverside dinner-banquet party was staged during which they enjoyed the best of the fine local cuisine along with entertaining cultural-arts performances. As a grand finale for their trip, the visitors were feted with a splendid fireworks show. In a follow-up survey, these city guests expressed 97% satisfaction with their incentive-travel experience.
Deputy Commissioner Chiu says that among the special experiences international MICE visitors can enjoy in the future are courtyard tea parties amidst the "sea of flowers" landscaping at beautiful Taipei Expo Park, cocktail parties amidst the rarified surroundings of Huashan 1914 Culture Park, a century brewery warehouse complex, or Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, a heritage tobacco-factory complex with Baroque-style gardens. Such MICE venue & local-culture experiences are unique. Other one-of-a-kind venues for MICE activities are The Red House, a red-brick heritage complex built as Taiwan's first "modern" public market in 1908, Taipei Story House, a Tudor-style mansion built in 1913 by a local tea merchant, and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the pioneer Taiwan facility dedicated to modern art. These provide unmatched cultural-creative experiences and distinctive customized MICE activities, and have proven to be a key draw in attracting transnational enterprises to stage their international meetings and incentive travel in Taipei.
DOIT has been systematically promoting Taipei's high-grade MICE environment in recent years. Last year it provided support for 138 international MICE events staged in the city, which brought approximately 156,000 foreign nationals for business or tourism and generated nearly NT$3 billion (US$100 million) in tourism output value (see Note), a growth rate of 15% over the previous year (2012). At the end of January this year the internationally renowned market-research company Euromonitor International issued its 2013 Top 100 City Destinations Ranking.
Besting such leading lights as Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Beijing, Taipei placed a stellar 18th, three spots higher than in the previous year. Taipei ranked 6th in voting in the 2012 Best City for Business, Asia survey conducted by the influential Asia online travel magazine Smart Travel Asia. It is clear that Taipei City's service capabilities meet all needs pertaining to every type of MICE activity, winning it strong recognition and high affirmation in the international market.
DOIT is showcasing Taipei's rich diversity through a photo gallery at AIME, attracting attending buyers for lively discussion and consultation and leaving them with deep positive impressions of the city. Echoing its theme for the expo and highlight Taipei's unique cultural character, a special program of customized "Taipei tea xiangbao" is being staged. Xiangbao are auspicious fragrance sachets that serve as talismans. Buyers are being invited to tailor their own, choosing to fill their sachet with sweet osmanthus Oolong tea, symbolizing warm Happiness, with Wenshan Pouching tea, symbolizing Luck, or with oriental Beauty tea, symbolizing Uniqueness. Special custom handmade Oriental-style ceramic teacups paired with Taiwan's unique traditional Hakka floral fabric are also being presented to the buyers at the same time, helping to make Taipei one of the most-noticed cities at the expo.
Note: According to the 2012 Annual Survey Report on Visitor Expenditures and Trends in Taiwan, issued by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (Ministry of Transportation and Communications), each visitor to Taiwan attending a meeting/conference or exhibition spent an average of US$213.01 per day, and on average stayed 3 days (exchange rate of NT$30:US$1 used).