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Taiwan, Japan discuss ways of boosting tourism

2012/07/06 11:26:04

Taipei, July 6 (CNA) Taiwan and Japan are holding a joint summit Friday to discuss ways of improving tourism exchanges between them, the Tourism Bureau said.

The summit, which is being held Friday in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan, is aimed at capitalizing on the growing Taiwan-Japan ties to boost the travel market, said a bureau official Cheng Chih-hung.

"The meeting will focus mainly on the latest collaboration in the aviation industry to make travel more accessible," Cheng said.

He was referring to the open skies agreement between Taiwan and Japan, which was signed last November, to liberalize commercial aviation services between the two countries. The agreement also allows Taiwan airlines to operate unlimited services to Japanese destinations other than Tokyo.

The pact is expected to result in increased tourism from Japan, the bureau said. Japanese tourist arrivals to Taiwan hit a record 1.29 million last year, an annual increase of 20 percent, according to government statistics.

During the meeting, Japan is likely to introduce more diversified travel packages such as in-depth tours to central Japan, a region less traveled by Taiwanese tourists, the bureau said.

The Taiwan-Japan Tourism Summit Forum was first held in 2008 as a forum for dialogue between tourism officials and representatives of the tourism industry in both countries, in light of dwindling tourism between the two sides at the time due to the economic downturn.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)