Taiwan gears up to win the nod of MICE planners.

STORY BY MICHELLE LIM

Taiwan has long been associated with natural beauty, rich culture, great food and unique ecology. These days, Taiwan also wants to be known as a choice MICE destination
in Asia.

Reaching the goal

To boost the country’s MICE industry, the Tourism Bureau launched a new subsidy policy from 2012 to 2013 by offering grants and incentives that range from cultural performances, planning assistance and souvenirs to encourage international enterprises and associations to consider and ultimately choose Taiwan for their incentive travels and meetings.
First time incentive groups of 150 delegates and above can have a free gala dinner as a special bonus. This is further enhanced by numerous cash subsidies for meetings and events introduced by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT). The cash subsidies hope to assist organisers in the bidding, promotion, and implementation stages that range from US$10,000 to US$90,000 depending on the size of the event.
In the recent Asian MICE Forum (AMF) 2012 held in Taipei, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) chairman, Chih-Kang Wang, mentioned that despite a slow global economy, Taipei trade shows organised by TAITRA continue to achieve positive results. Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs director general, Chang Chun-Fu, adds, “The global economy has been slow for the past years, and as a consequence, the service industry is becoming a major force of economic growth for many countries. In particular, the MICE industry produces tremendous benefits for peripheral businesses and is considered a spotlight among all service industries. Years ago, the Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade realised the MICE industry’s importance and has continuously been devoted to promoting MICE in Taiwan.”

Programs implemented

Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade has launched a four-year Taiwan MICE advancement program since 2009 to bring its MICE industry to a higher level of competitiveness with its Asian neighbours.
The program includes a Taiwan MICE Overall Implementation Project, Taiwan MICE International Meetings Hosting Project, Taiwan MICE International Marketing and Promotion Project, and Taiwan MICE Training and Certification Project.
“Through these projects, in conjunction with the Taiwan Exhibition Competitiveness Enhancement Program, our mission is to strengthen the foundation of Taiwan’s MICE industry and to further enhance global recognition of our MICE industry. I am happy to say that our efforts in the past four years have been gaining good results. Taiwan’s ICCA ranking has increased from 35th in 2008 to 27th in 2011, and the economic value of our MICE industry reached 8.7 billion NT dollars (US$298,354,000). The next step will be to add more tourism elements to the industry, emphasising the uniqueness of Taiwan cultural events and festivals as advantages of having MICE events in Taiwan. We trust this would add more charm to our MICE industry,” remarked Mr Chang in his welcome address at the 7th Asian MICE Forum.

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