The China Post news staff

Director-General David W.J. Hsieh of the Tourism Bureau and Vice Governor David Zhang from central Henan province of China jointly kicked off a tourism industry cooperation summit and tourism promotion activities in Taiwan that will last until May 20. The 2012 summit marks the joint activities for the fifth-consecutive year to promote tourism interchanges between Henan and Taiwan. Zhang led a delegation of 80 members from Henan, including tourism officials, university professors, students majoring in tourism and hotel management, arts performers, and kung fu monks from the 15-century-old Shaolin Temple in Songshan of Henan for the visit. He and Tourism Bureau chief Hsieh plus scholars and tourism industry leaders in Taiwan held a conference on cooperation at Jinwen University of Science & Technology in New Taipei City. Participants included leaders from the Taiwan Visitors Association, the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association, and scholars like Chairman Chang Wen-hsiung and President Cheng Yung-fu of Jinwen University and professors from National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism (NKUHT). They reviewed the major achievements in the interchanges over the years, including raising the number of tourists on the two sides over the mark of 100,000 people in 2010 and the establishment of direct air flight services between Henan and Taiwan. There are presently 12 flights per week. They agreed to continue pushing forward cooperation, including between faculties and students of universities in Taiwan and Henan, which has the largest population among all provinces in mainland China with more than 100 million people.

The visitors will stage performances, including martial arts by kung fu monks, for Taiwan audiences including at various university campuses during their stay. Students in Taiwan and those from Henan who have won international culinary awards will also join the interchange activities.