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Creative marketing gives Taiwan railway new life: official

2011/03/23 22:10:33

Taipei, March 23 (CNA) Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA)said Wednesday it had been introducing innovative marketing campaignsin recent years amid strong competition in a modern transportationnetwork.

"We know we can't outdo the High Speed Rail (HSR) in terms ofspeed, but we can certainly sell the concept of 'LOHAS' that's uniqueto our brand, " said TRA official Chan Hung-chang, referring tolifestyles of health and sustainability. 

Touting the 124-year history of Taiwan's oldest rail transportsystem, Chan said the TRA was focusing on cultural and fun travel aspart of its strategy to remain competitive.

For example, Chan said, a variety of railway-related merchandisehad been developed to promote train travel. A recent "rail passport"promotion that offered a passbook for 100 stations at which travelerscould mark off their stops had proved a great success, he said.

Within three days, 5,000 copies had gone, he said.

However, the TRA's most popular product remained its boxed meals,he said. Nonetheless, the TRA's Catering Service Department, in aneffort to make passengers feel more at home, launched a new campaignMonday to provide three new boxed meal menus designed by nutritionexperts, Chan said.

According to the department, sales of its boxed meals last yearreached NT$320 million (US$10.8 million) , contributing around 5percent to the TRA's annual revenue.

"Through a more flexible marketing strategy, we were able tointroduce a more delicate side of our brand, " said Dennis Ju,director of the catering department.

Last year, the TRA posted a deficit of NT$10.2 billion, amidfierce competition from the HSR and relatively high personnel costs.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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