TAIWAN is looking at how it can better tap the region's mega markets of India and Russia, which have shown promise in arrivals growth year to date.
From January to September 2014, Taiwan welcomed 23,298 Indians and 5,924 Russians, up 34 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.
Director of Kolkata-based Discovery Holidays, Sunil Narsaria, met five operators at the B2B mart yesterday. “They have not had any business with India before and this is simply an untapped market for them.”
He pointed out that Taiwan's hot springs provide a cheaper alternative to those in New Zealand for Indian travellers, although hotel prices in Taiwan are high.
Kuoni Travel India, on the other hand, gets business traffic to Taiwan from Mumbai, but it plans to offer Taiwan to its clientele of mature leisure travellers looking for new destinations. “However, language is an issue (in Taiwan)," said senior executive Kinjal Shukla.
Meanwhile, Russian travel consultants like Rus-Tour are looking for local partners to develop travel to the island, remarked its inbound tourism department tourism director, Shi Lei.
“We hope to understand tourism resources here and will begin with group travel first. Visa application is the major stumbling block to us because it takes at least seven to 10 days.”
Teta Travel’s general manager, Vladimir Khritinin, shared the same view: “All visa applications are directed to Moscow and those residing in Vladivostok have to factor in an extra nine-hour flight time for passport delivery."
He said Taiwan faces competition from neighbouring Hong Kong and China, which allow Russian nationals to enter without visas.