Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) Taiwan will seek to capitalize on the newly upgraded Tourism Administration's increased budget and workforce to further explore international travel markets, officials said during a plaque unveiling ceremony Friday.
Speaking at the ceremony, the administration's inaugural chief Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said key attention will be directed towards a recovery of inbound travel from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.
For the Japanese market, for instance, more theme tours about railway and bird-watching may be introduced, Chou said.
Considering that there has been a lack of interest for the group to visit central and southern Taiwan so far, he said, the administration is mulling to relaunch the "buy one ticket, get another free" program for high-speed rail and regular rail travel.
In addition, the agency will accelerate its reach to new markets such as Indonesia, India, Vietnam and the United Kingdom, Chou said.
In reference to Taiwan-China tourism, he also expressed optimism about facilitating travel exchanges that promote cross-strait communication.
Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) added that the goal is for reciprocal opening of group tours across the strait, with a daily quota of 2,000 visitors set for each side.
Besides international tourism, Chou said, his priorities include the formation of an advisory committee, regular engagement with diverse stakeholders, as well as the expansion of industry-academia collaborations.
Also on Friday, the new Central Weather Administration (CWA) was inaugurated after an organizational restructure, with an aim to expand beyond traditional weather forecasting into areas such as climate change research.
Taiwan's Legislature passed a law this May to elevate the status of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) and the Tourism Bureau to administrations, which have larger budgets and staff numbers than bureaus.