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Brand USA launches new advisory council in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In an effort to promote tourism to the United States, Brand USA and the American Institute in Taiwan held a ceremony yesterday commemorating the establishment of the Brand USA Taiwan Advisory Council (BTAC).

The move represents an important milestone in the efforts to promote tourism to the United States after Taiwan became a participant in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program in 2012, which propelled a 35-percent rise in Taiwanese visitors to the U.S. in the first three quarters of 2013.

The BTAC brings together key industry stakeholders to bolster Brand USA's tourism marketing efforts, with the first inaugural meeting yielding numerous suggestions to expand tourism, including the utilization of new technology in shaping destination searches, travel products and consumer buying habits. Ramped-up campaigns to provide local consumers with more options beyond conventional itineraries to less familiar destinations such as Portland, Virginia, Nevada and Michigan, and the possibility of placing more advertisement displays at outdoor venues and public transportation systems, are in the works.

Following the establishment of an in-market office in Taiwan, the BTAC will meet on a quarterly basis to tap the knowledge and expertise of industry stakeholders including China Airlines, Eva Air, Phoenix Tours, Lion Travel, Colatour, ezTravel and ezfly.

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