2023 Taipei travel fair visitor numbers nearly back to 2019 levels

Date:

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) With consumption on the rise in the post COVID-19 era, the thirst for overseas travel among Taiwanese seems to have returned to pre-pandemic levels judging by visitor numbers to the four-day 2023 Taipei International Travel Fair.

The show, the largest travel exhibition in Taiwan targeted at consumers that ended Monday, drew 344,475 visitors during its four-day run, about 90 percent of the level in 2019, the last year before the pandemic upended global travel.

The visitor numbers were also 76 percent higher than in 2022, when travel in Asia was just starting to recover as COVID-19 border restrictions were being lifted, according to the show’s organizer, the Taiwan Visitors Association (TVA).

Along with online sales, several hotels and travel agencies generated more than NT$100 million (US$3.11 million) in sales during the travel show as consumers eagerly purchased tour packages, the organizer said.

TVA Chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said that because of the better-than-expected revenue rung up by many exhibitors at the show, the TVA expects to expand its size in 2024 to accommodate more exhibitors.

At the 2023 event, the show had about 1,300 booths featuring 104 tourism operators, such as travel agencies, hotels and amusement parks, the most since the COVID-19 lockdown.

The TVA said several travel agencies focused on more affordable regional tour products to Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries, while also promoting long-haul packages to Europe and the United States with the winter vacation approaching.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of the show was Lion Travel Service Co., which said it raked in about NT$70 million in revenue during the fair, and its online campaign held in conjunction with the fair that started Oct. 1 pushed total sales to more than NT$1 billion.

Lion Travel said the strong online sales largely reflected the sale of high-end packages, such as tours to Japan’s Hokkaido and cruises, with single orders topping NT$1 million each.

Another major travel agency, ezfly, said its sales generated at the show and online were up 30 percent from a year earlier, with independent packages to Japan during the upcoming winter vacation accounting for about 40 percent of the total sales.

The travel agency did not disclose its exact sales numbers, however.

My Humble House Hospitality Management Consulting, a Taiwanese hotel operator, said it sold about NT$70 million worth of vouchers at the show, up 17 percent from a year earlier, when domestic travel still had strong momentum.

The hotel operator said that including online sales, its revenue hit NT$150 million during the show.

Formosa International Hotels Corp., another domestic hotel chain operator, said it generated about NT$130 million in revenue during the four-day event, little changed from a year earlier.

In addition to hotel rooms, Formosa said its hotel chain also saw growing demand for year-end dinner banquets from corporate clients, and it expected its total fair-related sales that conclude online on Nov. 12 to hit NT$150 million.

China Airlines, one of Taiwan’s biggest international carriers, said it had strong sales at the 2023 exhibition, with the number of tickets sold in 2023 up about 50 percent from a year earlier.

(By Wang Shu-fen, Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)

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