TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau led a delegation of travel operators to Manila to participate in the Travel Tour Expo (TTE), the Philippines' largest tourism exposition.
Efforts to lure back Filipino tourists have been working, as the Tourism Bureau says 309,376 Filipinos came from January to November 2023, nearly 70% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, per CNA.
The Tourism Bureau together with 23 Taiwanese businesses such as travel agencies, hotels, leisure farms, theme parks, and other companies attended TTE from Feb. 2-4. This year's Taiwan Pavilion theme was “bubble milk tea” also incorporating imagery of Sun Moon Lake, Chimei Museum, and the Kaohsiung Music Center.
Taiwan’s “Oh Bear” mascot was also displayed, and free samples of handmade pineapple cakes and other snacks were provided. All of these activities helped gain recognition as the 2024 TTE “Most Interesting Booth.”
Taiwan wins coveted award at travel show in Manila. (CNA photo)
Famous Filipino actress Gabbi Garcia and her boyfriend, Khalil Ramos, were also invited to make a public appearance. The couple were selected to serve as Taiwan Tourism Ambassadors at the beginning of the year. Filipino chef Chef RV Manabat also made an appearance and shared his Taiwan travel experience and appreciation for Taiwanese food and culture.
A local travel agent participating in a Taiwan Tourism Bureau event, Ann Frescilla Mar, said the most popular destinations for Filipino tourists include Taipei 101, Jiufen Old Street, and Taipei's Elephant Mountain. She said visitors also like to see the cherry blossoms as well as the Taiwan Lantern Festival adding that Taiwanese food and night market snacks are also very popular.
Mar told CNA that she hoped Taiwan could continue offering the 14-day visa-free period for Filipino nationals visiting Taiwan beyond the current deadline of July 31, 2024. Extending the visa waiver program for another year will encourage more Filipino tourists to visit Taiwan.
Filipinos were eager to share images of Taiwan on social media. (CNA photo)