Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Tourism authorities from Taiwan and South Korea are scheduled to meet Thursday in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, to discuss ways of increasing the number of visitors traveling between the two countries.
The meeting will be attended by more than 40 high-ranking South Korea tourism officials and industry representatives and some 100 Taiwanese representatives, who will discuss increased chartered flights, student exchanges, and golf tourism as ways of boosting tourism between the two sides.
The meeting will be hosted in the southern port city by the Taiwan Visitors Association and Korea Tourism Organization.
The tourism sectors on both sides expect the number of visitors to pick up following the launch of direct flights between Taipei International Airport (Songshan) and Gimpo Airport in Seoul in April this year.
A total of 420,199 Taiwanese visited South Korea in 2011, while 246,149 South Korean tourists visited Taiwan that year. The total number of visitors from both sides increased 6.93 percent in 2011 from the previous year, according to statistics compiled by Taiwan's Tourism Bureau.
Yu Kuo-chen, a spokesman of Lion Travel Service Co., said the number of visitors traveling between the two sides has not increased much because of the limited flight service.
However, now that direct flights have been launched between Taipei and Gimpo, the number of visitors is expected to pick up, he said.
Yu also suggested the government seek to attract South Korean tourists based on their tastes.
For example, Taiwan's golf tourism has long been popular among South Korean business travelers because of the high quality golf courses and affordable fees, Yu said. The government needs to find such niche markets to attract South Korean tourists, he said.
(By Chen Shun-hsieh and Ann Chen)