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June 26, 2017

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Thirty China's top online stars visit Taiwan "Taiwan's New Travel 1.0” starts a new chapter in cross-strait travel relations

A trip launched by Taiwan's travel agencies, hotels, air carriers and publicity platforms aims to keep up with a trend toward the "Internet celebrity economy." A total of 30 online stars from China have been invited to visit Taiwan in early 2016, in summer and by the end of this year. Their visits are expected to generate more than 50 million view pages.

These Internet celebrities specializing in tourism, photography, food, culture and art have explored Taiwan in depth for several days. Their in-depth travel is officially named the "Taiwan's New Travel 1.0." Running from December 4 until December 11, the trip kicks off with traditional culture experience in Dadaocheng, Taipei, followed by Yilan, Hualien, Nantou, Kaohsiung, Kenting, and offshore islands. "Taiwan's New Travel 1.0" will climax with all participants eventually gathering together in Penghu to complete this year's in-depth travel.

The statistics from Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA) show that more than 80 percent of the Chinese tourist groups to Taiwan often joined eight-day tours around this island, but the number of Chinese free independent travelers is rising, said Wang Chuan-yu, Chairman of Taiwan Inbound Tourism Association (TITA) and one of the founders of the "Taiwan's New Travel 1.0." Early this year, the members of the Association of Taiwan's New Travel (ATNT) thereby invited 14 Chinese top online stars to visit Taiwan through Xiamen Satellite TV and Tuniu.com – an online travel platform in China. Such events won great acclaim from these Internet celebrities whose articles had achieved high click-through rates and had been enthusiastically shared by their online friends. At the end of this year, the ATNT worked again with Hallotw.com, Ctrip.com and the TSTA to invite 16 online stars to visit Taiwan.

"The ATNT has built a platform to help integrate Taiwan's excellent travel agencies and hotels," said Ko Mu-chou, Vice Chairman of Taipei Association of Travel Agents (TATA). "We also hope to establish a business model of combining 'online channels, Internet celebrities, suppliers, and local travel services.' Taiwan's specialties and cultures will be widely promoted through texts, pictures and videos."

The TSTA was also glad to see this happen. Lee Chia-Bin, Director of the TSTA's Shanghai Office, said that tourism and premium service become the advantages of Taiwan's sustainable development at present and in the future. Internet celebrities traveling around the island can help promote Taiwanese tourism and stimulate its tour operators to enhance software or hardware capabilities.

Chinese online star Wang Jian, whose followers have reached more than 5.24 million, said that this was the second time to visit Taiwan. Last time he traveled around Taiwan along its coastline for a week, and was very impressed by its scenery and friendly people. This time Wang plans to visit central Taiwan and anticipates exploring the diversity of Taiwan.

"Taiwan's New Travel 1.0' ranging from airlines to accommodation, travel arrangements and transportation has been organized by civil groups," said Mike Lin, Chairman of Image Taiwan Hotel Group, who serves as host for the Taipei trip of "Taiwan's New Travel 1.0." "By continuing to hold this event 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0, we plan to invite online stars from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau. Our aim is to enable global travelers to experience the true colors of Taiwan."

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