Taiwan Govt appoints shop to attract British to island

The Taiwan Government has hired its first PR agency in the UK to promote tourism, following a three-way pitch.

Faced with mounting competition from its political adversary, and host of the 2008 Olympics, China – and seeking recovery from the Sars epidemic – Taiwan has hired McCluskey International to handle a newly created integrated PR and trade marketing campaign.

Managing directors Judy McCluskey and David Rose head the account and report to the regional director of the Taipei Tourism Bureau Thomas Chan, who is based in Frankfurt.

McCluskey director of tourism marketing Andy Woodward will oversee the development campaign and will target businesses.

Senior account manager Rae White will lead the consumer PR programme, targetting consumer, niche and travel trade media.

‘PR will target sophisticated backpackers – the older of whom will have a gold card in their back pocket – and the silver market’ said McCluskey. ‘Figures show the British have money and like to try new destinations, and Taiwan is trying to tap into this.’

Woodward said it was hoped that Taiwan’s capital Taipei could become ‘the new Hong Kong’, given its infrastructure and incentives for the conference market.

A key PR push for White will be Taiwan’s spa resorts and five-star hotels.

The integrated campaign will also promote the island as a stopover for British travellers heading for Australia and New Zealand.

In the past Taiwan has been heavily reliant on its traditional Asian and US market. But fear of terrorism and Sars dealt the industry a huge blow as consumers stayed at home. ‘The British are adventurous and are not easily put off.

Taiwan has realised what a huge market there is in the UK,’ added McCluskey.

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