Kaohsiung to host expo, tourism summit

The China Post news staff

Capitalizing on its world-class tourism resources and a culture steeped in the humanities, the Kaohsiung City Tourism Association (KCTA) will host the First Summit for Tourism of Asian Cities at the third Kaohsiung International Tourism Exposition next week in an effort to push for a tourism takeoff for the world’s largest continent and promote tourist destinations in southern Taiwan.

Taiwan, especially southern Taiwan, has established its credentials as an Asian tourist mecca since 2010, when close to 1.6 million visitors from mainland China visited Taiwan, with 1 million of them headed to the south. The day to day swarms of tourists from all over the world at Taiwan’s scenic spots speak volumes about the future of the country’s tourist industry. The Oct. 12-16 summit, cosponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Kaohsiung City Government, the Tainan City Government and the Pingtung County Government and organized by the Kaohsiung City Tourism Association, will bring together tourism sector representatives, academics, and government officials from Asian cities to “create synergies on an integrated platform by forging solid partnerships,” according to a KCTA press release dated Oct. 7. On the other hand, the Oct. 14-17 Exposition will launch a “common platform for Asian tourism,” which, according to Huang Fu-chiao, chairman of KCTA, will be a mechanism for the promotion of regular exchanges, dialogue and interactions among Asian cities. As such, it will be tasked with organizing an international conference every other year. In between the conferences, there will be ad hoc forums and workshops to initiate exchanges on the current state of the industry and explore cooperation possibilities.

Aside from its role as host city of the two tourism events, Kaohsiung, especially its government, is expected to adopt a cosmopolitan outlook and promote local tourism by making a special effort to blend the city’s rich cultural heritage with its budding cultural and creative industries, said the KCTA press release. It is hoped that the Summit for Tourism of Asian Cities will serve as a regular forum for the cities and counties in southern Taiwan to establish ties with other well-known metropolises in Asia. These cross-border strategic alliances will work toward sharing tourism-market intelligence. As it works hard for the success of the two major tourism events, KCTA extends its cordial invitation to all to join the participants in the summit and the exposition in a joint effort to make history in the tourism industry in southern Taiwan.