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Taiwan Continues Its City Marketing Efforts

Since the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), Ministry of Economic Affairs, R.O.C. launched the Taiwan MICE Advance Program in 2010, it has also spurred the pace of city marketing efforts in local areas and counties.

The Hot Air Balloon Carnival and City Summit, an initiative of the Taitung County Government and 2011 Unique Kaohsiung MICE Event, both won BOFT grants of $310,000 USD and $275,000 USD respectively under this programme.

Besides encouraging local governments through the grant scheme to organize large-scale convention and exhibition activities, BOFT is also looking to integrate the MICE resources of central and local governments to enhance the strength of different localities’ MICE industries at all levels. BOFT will, on April 20th , April 27th  and July 1st , 2011 respectively, head to Hsinchu, Chiayi and Taitung counties.

There they will promote the county and city governments integration policy and hold joint city-county MICE industry seminars, to announce the central government’s grant and resource support to encourage investment by local governments and MICE industry stakeholders into MICE activities. Such a move fully utilizes the idea of city marketing to sharpen local MICE industry competitiveness and stimulate the overall MICE industry in Taiwan.

The seminars will share the achievements of Taiwan’s promotional efforts for the MICE industry and explore future prospects as ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement) further liberalizes cross-strait trade, tourism and investment. During the three seminars BOFT will also give more information on the Taiwan MICE Advancement Program and report on the most up-to-date developments regarding the rules and regulations governing cross-strait MICE industry cooperation. BOFT has invited MICE experts and industry professionals to give recommendations on how to encourage more MICE activities to take place in Taiwan post-ECFA and to make Taiwan Asia’s most desirable MICE destination.

The seminar will center on topics such as "The Post-ECFA Era’s Impact on Opportunities in Cross-Strait MICE Business" and "Strengthening City Marketing to Spur Vigorous Growth of Regional MICE Activities.”

Currently, Taiwan’s most experienced city marketer is Taipei. Taipei City’s Department of Information and Tourism accepts two rounds of sponsorship applications annually for meetings, exhibitions and incentive travel activities.

The support takes the form of administrative assistance for a wide range of elements - City Memorial Eco Bags, Taipei Passes, welcoming banquets, supporting letters by the City Mayor, free pamphlets, and hosting venue site inspections in Taipei, among other things. During the first round this year, a total of 102 applications were received, and 83 grants were awarded. Among these, 55 went for international conferences, 25 for international exhibitions, 3 for incentive travel, and 6 for welcome banquets.

Together, these are expected to help draw 120,000 people to Taipei, which will most certainly help to lift Taipei’s international profile, speed the development of Taiwan's MICE industry, and stimulate the growth of derivative products and services. The sponsorship measures adopted and implemented by the Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism have lead directly to the generation of significant inbound MICE traffic to Taiwan, with more than 80% being retained in Taipei.