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Eye on South Asia, Taipei Waves Hello to India’s Vast Market Mayor Ko and Art Masters Unveil Taipei’s Soft Power Strategically Allied With China Airline to Promote FUN TAIPEI Travel Product

Taipei City Government (TCG) is devoted in developing international tourism and is actively learning from its neighbors in South and Southeast Asia. Led by Mayor Wen-je Ko (柯文哲), the delegation arrived at their last stop of the study tour – the mysterious India – where they aimed at exploring foreign markets, establishing municipal international cooperation between capital cities and promoting tourism as well. Mayor Ko not only invited three masters – Zhu Luhao (朱陸豪), Liao Qiongzhi (廖瓊枝) and Zhang Zhengjid (張正傑) – to showcase Taiwanese culture in their Taiwanese opera performance, he also, with an eye to India’s strong filming and tourist industry, announced the incentive program for film industry and MICE industry (會展觀光產業).
Populated by 1.33 billion people, the second largest worldwide, more than twenty million Indians went abroad every year since 2015, however only thirty thousand of which visited Taiwan, making India a venerable virgin territory for our tourist industry. Mayor Ko described this study tour as the modern “Journey to The West” (西遊記), where they “pursuit the sutra” (取經), bring back the valuables and reinvent with our own cultural legacy. TCG further promoted tourism with cherished Taiwanese visual arts: a creative, cello-accompanied piece of Taiwanese opera classic “Wang Bao Chuan” (王寶釧) by Zhu, Liao and Zhang, and Zhu and Zhang’s work named “Monkey King Stealing The Moon” (美猴王偷月), which combined the protagonist from “Journey to The West” and the second movement of Debussy’s Sonate pour Violoncelle et Piano, which was inspired by poet Albert Griaud’s masterpiece, “Pierrot lunaire” (小丑摘月). In the meantime, in the Taipei tourism industry forum held in New Delhi, the delegation brought up the incentive program that urged Bollywood directors and crews to film movies in Taipei. We Delang (吳德朗), an expert in Indian culture, talked with many Bollywood directors and performers, hoping to see more collaborations in the future.
To exploit Indian market, TCG has formed a strategic alliance with China Airline, the only national airline that has direct flight to New Delhi, and together designed the brand new FUN TAIPEI travel product and launched the“6 Reasons to Love Taipei.” This Indian version of Taipei travel notebook comprises introduction to Indian-friendly restaurants and accommodations, buy one get one free coupon for double-decker sightseeing buses, a ticket to the TAIPEI 101 observatory and other coupons and vouchers valued up to sixty thousand NTD sponsored by Regent Taipei (晶華酒店), The Sherwood Taipei (西華飯店), amba Taipei Ximending (西門意舍酒店), Courtyard Taipei (六福萬怡酒店), Grand Hyatt Taipei (君悅飯店), The Gaia Taipei (北投大地酒店), SweetMe Hotspring Resort (北投水美溫泉), KinRaku Foot Massage (金樂足體養生會館), etc., featuring buy one night get one night free discounts. There are more shopping recommendations and bargains in stores including TenRen’s Tea (天仁茗茶), Kuo Yuan Ye (郭元益), inBloom (印花樂), everrich (昇恆昌) and Syntrend (三創), offering tea, vegan desserts, cultural-creative goods, designer good and electronics. This FUN TAIPEI travel notebook is a must-have for Indian travelers.
Seeing the flourishing MICE industry in India, TCG rolled out an incentive tourism plan to appeal to Indian corporations, which consists of remuneration for direct charter flight with China Airline and tourists can exchange for free tickets to the TAIPEI 101 observatory at counters of China Airline and local travel agencies with their passports and the voucher printed in the FUN TAIPEI travel notebooks. For those with special diet due to religious cause, there are hundreds of vegan, Indian and Thai restaurants to choose from. Last but not least, the double-decker sightseeing buses that hit the road recently, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and YouBike Public Bicycle Rentals offer an attractive way of traveling with great convenience.
To emphasize Taipei’s earnest desire to bond with our Indian companions, composer Xie WanLing (謝婉玲) dedicated a special piece for Mayor Ko and the representatives from India. She first performed “Vande Mataram”and “Tiu̍h tiu̍h tâng á” (丟丟銅仔), which are utterly well-known songs in New Delhi and Taipei respectively, separately, and then closely fused them into one, symbolizing the nascent friendship and interaction between the two cities.
“FUN TAIPEI NIGHT In Delhi” took place in the world renowned Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, a place holding international conferences and accommodating political figures of great import, where Prince William and Duchess Kate, and the former president of the United States Barack Obama had all once stayed. This is the first ever delegation of Taipei to visit India, of which has a strong lineup. Led by Mayor Ko, they have examined various aspects ranging from tourism to culture and infrastructure while enhancing mutual understanding on issues of human rights, philosophy and religion. Together with all sorts of incentive programs for tourism and MICE industry, a prominent increase in the figure of Indian visitors can be expected.