Attracting Taiwanese Tourists to Otsu CityMayor and Other Leaders Lead PR Campaign12 July 2015 - Local topics
Setting this year as "Inbound, the first year," or the initial year for attracting foreign tourists, leaders in the public and private sectors have been jointly promoting Otsu City in Taiwan since July 13. Taiwan was selected as Taiwanese are the largest segment of foreign tourists to Shiga Prefecture and Taiwan has also been drawing keen attention from tourism-related agencies in the city. Publicity for Otsu City in Taiwan is underway with the goal of it leading to an increase in visitors.
The sales campaign promoted by top members continues from July 13 to July 16. The project is being carried out by approximately 20 people, including Mayor Naomi Koshi, representatives of Biwako Otsu Tourism Association and Otsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with people involved in hotels or inns in the city. They are scheduled to visit Taipei and Tainan, which will start nonstop flights to Kansai International Airport in October, to meet the mayor of Tainan, travel agencies and others.
On July 6, in advance of the visit, Otsu City issued calls to tourism-related agencies and held a meeting to exchange views for stimulating "Inbound" to the city. In order to conduct PR campaigns more effectively in Taiwan, they listened to ideas from attendees, such as, "Since Taiwanese tend to want to see autumn leaves and snow, we should draw attention to them."
At present, the number of foreigners visiting Japan is increasing and Shiga Prefecture is also experiencing an increase. Among the approximately 200,000 foreign guests in Shiga Prefecture in 2014, 39% were from Taiwan, followed by China at a much lower second place of 14%, then Hong Kong at 12% and South Korea at 6%. As there is a higher proportion of Taiwanese in Otsu City, the private sector is also focusing on Taiwan.
Otsu Prince Hotel, where Taiwanese account for 70 % of foreign guests and which is operated by Prince Hotels, headquartered in Tokyo, opened a Taipei office as a sales outlet in Taiwan last October. The team for Prince Hotels, Inc.'s Kyoto and Shiga marketing strategy has analyzed the influx. "In the Taiwanese tourism market, low-cost carriers have increased services mainly to Kansai International Airport, thus repeat visitors have rapidly increased for trips to enjoy nature and gourmet dining." Furthermore, they explained, "The view of Lake Biwa differs from scenery in Taiwan and is impressive for them. If we promote the appeal of activities and gourmet food unique to Otsu and its easy access to Kyoto and Osaka, the number of Taiwanese visitors to Shiga Prefecture will further increase in the future."
Biwako Otsu Tourism Association has also launched out to prepare for receiving foreign visitors, for example, they have published a tourism information booklet in four languages, including Taiwanese. However, Shinichi Tanaka, secretary general of the association, discussed the actual situation where there are many Taiwanese lodgers, saying, "What happens is that people who are unable to reserve hotel rooms in Kyoto are forced to stay in Otsu City." As Kyoto has a high profile, through being ranked the number one city in a renowned USA travel magazine for the second consecutive year and so on, he also said, "We embrace the actual situation of being located adjacent to Kyoto as an advantage, and want to promote our attractiveness in order for visitors to stay longer in Otsu City, even for half a day."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)