Building the Foundations for Tourism from Taiwan
The St Lucia Embassy in Taiwan had another successful Tourism promotion with a booth at the 2020 Kaohsiung International Travel Fair, where it was the only Caribbean country participating.
The exhibition space was decorated with images of spectacular island scenes and colorful brochures with information in both English and Chinese were provided. All of the preparations were undertaken by the Embassy’s staff and volunteers who designed and managed the booth.
Ordinary Taiwanese have only limited knowledge of St Lucia, so the exhibition was very helpful in providing information and generating public awareness. The beautiful images helped enhance St Lucia’s profile as an attractive and worthwhile travel destination.
During the time, the Embassy also conducted business meetings with travel agents and tourism officials to explore the possible development of tourism from Taiwan to St Lucia. The Ambassador took the opportunity of being in Kaohsiung to meet with nationals working and studying in that city.
At the start of November, the Embassy had participated at a similar international fair in Taipei, the ITF, which was the largest such fair being held anywhere in the world, at this time. It was attended by over 1,000 travel agencies and companies, tourism offices, hotels and other exhibitors. St Lucia was one of 33 countries attending and one of the two from the Caribbean.
The preparations and management of this earlier fair were similar to the latter one in Kaohsiung, with the Embassy undertaking these responsibilities itself. Participation was therefore cost effective and quite modest. The Embassy got the rental space subsidised, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Taiwan, provided some funds to help with the printing of publicity material and the décor.
A few days after the Taipei Fair, the Embassy participated in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Tourism Marketing Campaign. It was a one-day event with travel agents organised jointly by MOFA, the Taiwan External Development Council and the Travel Quality Assurance Association.
Tourism from Taiwan to St. Lucia has been virtually non-existent and the distance is of course an impediment to development, but the Taiwanese market is still worth exploring. This is a high-income country and Taiwanese travel a lot on vacation; last year taking 13 million holidays abroad.
The current slowdown in international travel is a good time to explore the viability and potential with travel agents and others in the Tourism sector here.
To help prepare for possible business with this potentially lucrative Taiwanese market, the Embassy is conducting a survey of some of its characteristics. The results will be analysed along with a research company and provided to the St Lucia hotel and tourism authorities.