TAIWAN, with its beautiful landscape, rich culture and history, is a popular destination for travellers.
In an effort to showcase more of the country, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TBB) hopes to promote its small towns in the upcoming Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).
This will be part of the holiday packages being offered for Taiwan, which has been selected again as the Asia Favourite Destination, during the three-day MATTA Fair from March 15.
TTB Kuala Lumpur office director Abe Chou said the bureau selected 40 towns to showcase the unique character of Taiwan.
He said Taiwan possessed a rich and diverse cultural history, varied cultural landscapes, recreational resources and cuisine – all of which are in abundance in the 40 towns, and are suitable for Malaysians to explore, he said in a press conference held at Wisma MATTA in Kuala Lumpur.
During the event, TTB unveiled its 2019 tourism promotion theme: “Taiwan Small Town Ramble!”.
“For the past two years, over 520,000 Malaysians have visited Taiwan annually, and we hope to increase it by 10%,” said Chou.
To attract more Malaysian tourists to the country, the bureau will lead a delegation comprising 68 representatives from 35 tourism-related industries to promote Taiwan’s latest tourism resources at the fair.
Chou said among the many well-known festivals that Malaysians may find interesting are the Taiwan International Balloon Festival (to be held from June to August) and the Taiwan Cycle Festival from June to December.
“We have also made a big effort to improve the travel environment for Muslim visitors to accommodate the growing Muslim tourism market in Taiwan.
Over 176 restaurants and hotels have obtained relevant halal certifications.
“There are also the Tour Taiwan and Halal-TW apps for the convenience of travellers looking for Muslim-friendly facilities in Taiwan,” he said.
MATTA chief executive officer Phua Tai Neng, who was present at the event, said Malaysia has good connectivity to Taiwan as five airlines provide direct flights to the country.
On the upcoming fair, Phua said they are confident that it would be a success.
There will be 1,369 booths at the fair offering attractive promotions on domestic and international tour and travel packages from over 268 participating MATTA members and organisations.
MATTA vice-president (outbound) Cynthia Tan said Taiwan was a “must-go destination” as it offered an affordable travel experience.
“It offers sheer diversity of tourism experiences, from exploring its natural landscape, such as the Sun Moon Lake and the Taroko and Kenting National Park, to soaking in the Chinese traditional history and culture, or simply marvelling at the development of the world-class city of Taipei,” she said.
Tan said 526,129 Malaysians visited Taiwan in 2018, while Taiwan’s tourist arrivals to Malaysia grew 20.5% to 311,140.
This, said Tan, made Taiwan number nine in terms of tourist arrivals to Malaysia from January to September 2018.
At the MATTA Fair, TTB KL office is taking up 20 booths as part of the Taiwan Pavilion (booth number 1413-1432) at the International Hall 1.
Various exciting activities will be held, including “FOCA Formosa Circus Art”, which will combine Taiwanese culture and stunts.
Visitors can also experience
several DIY (Do-It-Yourself)
activities, including hand-made wood chopsticks, Taiwanese-style Hakka flower cloth kettle bag and more.
They can also enjoy the famous mango shaved ice and pearl milk tea shaved ice from Ice Monster, the well-known dessert shop in Taiwan.
Those who buy Taiwan travel products at the fair will be able to redeem limited edition gifts at its booth, while a large Gashapon machine will be set up to welcome visitors to try their luck.
Visitors to the Taiwan Pavilion will be able to meet Taiwan Tourism Ambassador Mira
Filzah, who will be present on March 16.
MATTA Fair March 2019 – the 47th edition of the travel fair – will occupy seven halls, encompassing 29,000sq m of exhibition space.
It will be open from 10am to 9pm from March 15 - 17. Admission is RM4 per person and free for children aged below 12.