TORONTO — Travellers interested in culture, history and nature should consider Taiwan and Korea. That was the message at a seminar Tuesday night for 90 travel agents sponsored by Tai Pan Tours, the Korean Tourism Organization and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
Agents had a chance to try on traditional Korean dress and sample tea from Taiwan, some of the experiences travellers can enjoy in the two destinations.
“People in North America are more familiar with Thailand and China, but Korea and Taiwan have a lot to offer,” Tai Pan’s Lisa Lau told Travelweek, adding the two destinations can be combined on one tour.
Randy Snape, Marketing Manager for the Korea Tourism Organization, told agents the country has 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, that its capital Seoul has five palaces, and a subway system with signs in English, Korean and Japanese.
In Korea, which is home to the largest Asian film festival (in Busan), Snape said visitors can spend a night in a Buddhist temple, explore the volcanic island of Jeju (popular with newlyweds) or take a trip to the DMZ dividing line between North and South Korea.
He listed five reasons to sell Korea: it¹s one of the most popular tourist destinations with 14 million visitors a year; the number of Canadian arrivals to Korea is growing (projected at 8.8% or 152,670 for 2015); 40% of tourists are repeat visitors; the Olympic Winter Games will take place in PyeongChang in 2018; stopovers are an excellent add-on and there are free transit tours.
Taiwan also offers free tours for those with a stopover of seven to 24 hours.
Taiwan’s Sasha Chou explained two-thirds of the island is mountains, but there are also beaches, hot springs, wildlife, famous tea growing areas, and 3,000 miles of bike lanes. Visitors can also take a mountain train or see 650,000 art works at the National Palace Museum.
Chinese history and temples abound in Taiwan which is, with its very low crime rate, considered the second safest destination after Japan.
A great place for foodies, Chou said travellers will find everything from street food to fine cuisine. Taiwan has 300 night markets, 6,000 vegetarian restaurants, and many themed restaurants (one of which is toilet themed).
Tai Pan Tours has various options including a five or eight-day tour of
Taiwan and eight or 11-day tour of Korea. “We want agents to know more about Taiwan and Korea as a destination and that they can be combined on a tour,” said Lau.
Agents earn 10% commission on products in the Tai Pan Tours Explorer brochure. The company has been in business for 26 years and offers tours to 13 Asian destinations as well as tours in Europe and South America.
Agents can enter a draw to win a trip to any destination Air Canada flies by signing up for the Loyalty Program Agent, then booking a tour from the Tai Pan Tours Explorer brochure.
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