Taiwan Tourism Bureau targets Chinese, Muslim markets with FIT, facilities

At present, Muslim arrivals account for only 10% and that the bureau is hoping to raise the number to 15% this time around

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau aims to increase the arrivals of Chinese and Muslim tourists to its portfolio by catering tour packages to Free Independent Travellers (FIT) and developing more Muslim-friendly facilities.

Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei director Abe Chou said it hopes to develop diverse products to attract Chinese visitors.

“As for the Muslim market, we hope to create awareness to entice first-time visitors to Taiwan, especially now that the main transportation hub and 13 National scenic areas have added Muslim-friendly facilities,” he said at the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) media briefing yesterday.

Chou said 170 eateries and restaurants in Taiwan have acquired the relevant halal certification.

“Special Muslim areas will be set up at Taiwan’s Pavilion where halal industry players, as well as representatives from the Chinese Muslim

Association, will be available to share information on Taiwan’s Muslim-friendly environment with the visitors,” he said.

According to Chou, in order to hit the target and expand its customer base, the bureau utilises segment marketing, which targets different markets using different methods.

“This year, we are aiming to receive about 550,000 tourists compared to 528,019 in 2017 into the country. We are also targeting for more Malaysians tourists, he said.

Chou said at present, Muslim arrivals account for only 10% and that the bureau is hoping to raise the number to 15% this time around.

“The bureau will hold separate workshops for the two market segments, so that industry players from both segments can create innovative travel packages to cater to its clienteles,” he said.

Mastercard-Crescent Rating’s Global Muslim Tourism Index 2018 ranked Taiwan fifth on the list of Muslim-friendly non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation tourist destinations.

Matta outbound VP Cynthia Tan said Matta anticipates to hit RM220 million in sales turnover in conjunction with the school holidays.

According to Tan, Matta plans to see the number of visitors between Malaysia and Taiwan increase.

Last year, Malaysia saw 332,927 arrivals from Taiwan.

Previously, The Malaysian Reserve reported that shady travel agents offer- ing huge discounts that are not regis- tered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture were on the rise.