Taipei works to regain lost ground

TAIPEI is bent on regaining its conventions ranking in Asia, which slipped to fourth last year, from second position in 2010.

To achieve this, the city has raised the maximum subsidy to NT1 million (US$32,500) per case this year, from NT500,000 previously, to motivate local associations further in their bid for conventions.

Beijing and Seoul overtook Taipei last year as the second- and third-ranked convention city in Asia respectively, according to ICCA, which conducts the ranking based on convention data submitted by the cities. Singapore was ranked first for the tenth year running.

Dayton Wang, chief, Department of information and Tourism, Taipei City Government, admitted that Beijing and Seoul in particular were “very competitive” in their marketing, but pointed out that the reason for them leapfrogging Taipei could be that not all meetings held in the city were submitted and factored into the ICCA ranking.

Last year, 123 events in Taiwan received subsidies, bringing 150,000 delegates and NT3 billion in spending. This compared with 104 events, 134,000 delegates and NT2.7 billion spending in 2010.

The Taipei City Government also marched into IMEX in Frankfurt for the first time this year in a bid to woo European buyers to meet in the city. “We still stand a good chance of attracting European meetings despite the European debt crisis. Taipei is relatively cheap and it is accessible as there are flights all over the world,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has launched a new subsidy for 2012-2013 to increase incentive travel to Taiwan, and is offering grants, planning assistance, cultural performances and souvenirs.

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