CORONAVIRUS/Taipei travel fair to be scaled down due to COVID-19

09/16/2020 07:39 PM
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TVA Secretary-General Luo Chiung-ya (second left) poses with the Tourism Bureau
TVA Secretary-General Luo Chiung-ya (second left) poses with the Tourism Bureau's mascot OhBear at Wednesday's press conference. CNA photo Sept. 16, 2020

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) This year's Taipei International Travel Fair will be scaled down when it opens in October, because foreign exhibitors have been deterred by travel restrictions and other concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers said Wednesday.

According to the Taiwan Visitors Association (TVA), only 20 countries will participate in the fair at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Oct. 30-Nov. 2, displaying their products at 1,000 booths.

Last year, 60 countries took part in the fair, which had 1,700 booths, the TVA said.

The 2020 fair will be scaled down, as many international airlines and foreign travel agencies will be not be present, while some participating countries are planning to have smaller pavilions, TVA Secretary-General Luo Chiung-ya (羅瓊雅) told reporters.

For example, Japan will have only 45 booths in its pavilion this year, compared with 150 in 2019, while South Korea will have only a third of the 60 booths it had set up last year, Luo said.

Nonetheless, the Taipei International Travel Fair will be the only one of its kind being held in the world, as Taiwan has done better than most other countries to contain COVID-19, she said.

In addition to the displays, the fair will include conferences at which tourism industry experts and travel pundits will share information with visitors, who will be greeted by mascots from popular destinations, Lou said.

Despite the scaled-back activities this year, Lou said, it is hoped that the fair will attract at least 300,000 people, close to last year's 384,834.

Meanwhile, the TVA said it has launched an online travel fair that offers discounted travel packages and meals for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and Oct. 10 National Day holidays to help boost the domestic tourism industry, which has been hard hit by the fallout from the pandemic.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Frances Huang)

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