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Subscribe | Archive | Recommend TPO Newsletter No.137 | 2016-06-30
In this issue :
  • 1. The 7th TPO Forum and Working Level Meeting were held with great success
  • 2. Announcement of the winners at the 2016 TPO Best Awards
  • 3. The Ao Dai Show on Ho Chi Minh City??s Walking Street concludes with success
  • 4. The Russian Tourism Road Show to attract more Korean tourists
  • 5. An explosive growth of Thai travelers visiting Japan
  • 6. Zhangjiajie Folk Culture Festival 2016 to be held in July in Hunan, China
  • 7. The 1st Chengdu Jump Up: A Massive Game and Animation Party
  • 8. Gimhae Gaya Theme Park launched the Media Façade Show
  • 9. Pohang, Korea, set to host the Pohang International Fire & Light Festival 2016
Member & Industry News

1. The 7th TPO Forum and Working Level Meeting were held with great success

The 7th TPO Forum and Working Level Meeting (The TPO Forum) were held with great success in Jeonju city, Jeollabuk-do Province, Korea from June 13 to 15, 2016.

The TPO Forum is an official biennial event of the Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO) organized to discuss major issues and share information regarding the tourism industry.

The Opening Ceremony of the Forum took place at the Korea Traditional Culture Center in Jeonju in the morning of June 14, in the presence of around 150 delegates from 32 member cities including Kim Seung-soo, the mayor of Jeonju city, Kim Dong-jin, the mayor of Tongyeong city which is a TPO Co-President City, and Dato Patahiyah Binti Ismail, the mayor of Penang, Malaysia.

The keynote speech was delivered by Deputy Director Tan Aiying of Tourism Administration of Guangzhou Municipality, the President City of TPO. Ms. Aiying said, ??The TPO Forum is an event that serves as a place to identify the new trends in the international tourism sector, share ideas and build cooperative relationships. I hope that this event will be informative and helpful for all the participants.??

At the Forum under the theme of ??Aging & Tourism,?? presentations were given by three tourism experts from Korea, Japan and China. Dr. Choi Kyung-Eun from the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute gave a presentation titled ??Aging in Korea: Opportunities and Challenges for Tourism.?? This was followed by ??Emerging of the Brand New Elderly Generation in Japan,?? a presentation by Yoko Tanaka, the Senior Consultant at the Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) Research & Consulting Co., and ??Analysis on the Travel Intention and Behavior Pattern of the Aged in China?? by the Vice Dean of Department of Tourism Institute of Beijing Union University. After the presentations, a heated debate ensued, with Professor Kim Cheol-won of Kyung Hee University as the chairman.

In the afternoon, the working-level officials from the member cities attended the Working Level Meeting. The participants were divided into three groups, based on their languages, to discuss the joint programs operated by TPO and the measures to promote interchanges among the member cities.

On June 15, the participants had an opportunity to take technical tour around member cities (Jeonju, Iksan and Gunsan) in Jeollabuk-do Province.

2. Announcement of the winners at the 2016 TPO Best Awards

The 2016 TPO Best Awards took place at JS Hotel in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do Province in Korea on June 15.

For the purpose of encouraging its member cities to further advance their tourism industries, TPO recognizes member cities that have demonstrated exceptional activities in the 10 award categories (Marketing Campaign, Print Advertisement, Broadcast Advertisement, Festivals and Events, Promotion CD, Tourism Brochures, Website, Destination Manager, Tourism Industry Leader, and Public Relations Campaign) based on a strict judging process.

The Best Marketing Campaign Award was given to Goyang in Korea, while Ipoh in Malaysia was awarded with Best Print Advertisement. The Best Broadcast Advertisement Award went to Guangzhou, China and Tainan, Taiwan. The Best Festival and Event Award was given to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Jung-gu in Busan, Korea. Meanwhile, Incheon in Korea and Sanya in China were jointly honored with the Best Promotion CD Award, and Daejeon in Korea and Yogyakarta in Indonesia with Best Tourism Brochure. On the other hand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was recognized with the Best Public Relations Campaign Award, and the Best Public Relations Campaign Award was given to Tongyeong in Korea. The title of Best Destination Manager, recognizing a leading individual who profoundly contributed to the tourism sector, went to Cui Dezhi, the Director General of China Qingdao Tourism Administration, while Dato Patahiyah Binti Ismail, the Mayor of City Council of Penang Island, Penang, Malaysia was honored with the title of Tourism Industry Leader.


3. The Ao Dai Show on Ho Chi Minh City??s Walking Street concludes with success

The Ao Dai Show was held in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday night on May 19. This event was held in celebration of the 126th anniversary of the birthday of Ho Chi Minh, a former leader of Vietnam. It was a successful show, with some 2,000 people in attendance.

The Walking Street paved with granite for a distance of 670m is emerging as a new place of meeting for the local residents and tourists. It was transformed into a runway for the special fashion show, and it was graced by 126 local models wearing ao dai, the exquisite traditional costume of Vietnam. 

A representative of the event said, ??We divided the Ao Dai Show into three parts to show how the traditional costume has transformed over the years, and how it came to become an iconic part of Vietnam and its culture and people.??

Numerous local artists also attended the fashion show in traditional attires, and delighted the audience with performances of traditional folk songs as well as songs celebrating Ho Chi Minh (born on May 19, 1890).

4. The Russian Tourism Road Show to attract more Korean tourists

Recently, overseas tourism institutions and companies have been organizing a wide range of tourism marketing events in Korea as a way to attract more Korean tourists to their countries.

One of these events is the 2016 Russian Tourism Road Show: Visit Russia held at the President Hotel in Seoul on June 8 in order to promote the attractions of Russia as a travel destination.

The organizer of this event, the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation and Travel Association ??World Without Borders?? invited the representatives of major outbound travel companies in the event to promote the tourism destinations in Russia. 

One of the presentations focused on the second largest city in Russia, Saint Petersburg, which attracted 6.5 million tourists, of whom more than 100,000 were Korean tourists, in 2015 alone. The growing number of travelers visiting the city is deemed to be mainly due to the visa waiver program that was initiated last year. 

Other presentations were given on the Moscow Jewelry Factory and the Siberian Railway Travel Agency based in Irkutsk.

5. An explosive growth of Thai travelers visiting Japan

It appears that the growth in the number of Thai travelers visiting Japan will not stop for the time being.

The launch of direct flights to Sapporo by Thai Airways in 2012 has caused a boom of outbound tourism to Japan, with an increasing number of Thai tourists visiting the Sapporo Snow Festival. In response to this new trend, the Japanese government began a visa waiver program for Thai travelers visiting the country for up to 15 days, starting in July 2013, and this strategic measure has made Japan a more attractive destination.

The total number of foreign travelers visiting Japan in the month of April in 2016 exceeded 2.08 million, which shattered the previous record of 2 million for ??all-time high visitors per month.?? In particular, the number of Thai travelers visiting Japan between January and May increased by 15% compared to that of the previous year. 

In the early days of the tourism boom, many of the Thai visitors traveled in groups, and they mainly traveled for 5 days, on a very tight schedule, as they moved through the major cities from north to east. However, there has been a transition into a more relaxed schedule, with tourists visiting only a couple of cities during their stays, and there have also been a growing number of free independent travelers.

The government of Japan is carrying out ongoing marketing activities to promote inbound tourism using websites in the Thai language. They are also spurring efforts to attract tourists from other countries in case there is a decline in Thai visitors to Japan.

6. Zhangjiajie Folk Culture Festival 2016 to be held in July in Hunan, China

The June 6th Festival of the local ethnic group, Tujia, is held on June 6 in the lunar calendar every year. This festival, with a 600-year history, was launched to honor King Hou Qin Wang of the Tujia.
Zhangjiajie will be hosting an event under the title, ??The One and Only Zhangjiajie: The Best Folk Customs,?? for a month from July 9 to August 9, 2016, with the aim of promoting its folk culture and advancing local culture.

The Zhangjiajie Folk Culture Festival, typically held with about 1,000 attendees, is comprised of four events: ancestral rite, hand-waving dance, traditional Maogos dance, and rice-touching event. The folk dance performances and cultural exhibitions blend beautifully with the classical architecture of the local houses, and never fail to captivate the attendees in awe. During the festival period, the local residents and tourists celebrate the culture and customs of the Tujia. The aim of the festival is to boost the development of the tourism industry and cultural exchanges by incorporating the elements of culture and tourism.

*Tujia: The Tujia are an ethnic minority in China who are one of the indigenous peoples in Zhangjiajie. There were about 930,000 Tujia people living in the region as of February 2015.

7. The 1st Chengdu Jump Up: A Massive Game and Animation Party

The 1st Chengdu Jump Up: A Massive Game and Animation Party is set to be held at Moziqiao Longxin Building in Chengdu on July 16. There will be only 1,000 tickets available. Discount tickets will be sold for 9.9 yuan, while the regular tickets will cost 49.9 yuan on site. There will be more than 30 different snacks, desserts, fruits and beverages provided, and visitors will get a chance to play 25 games and participate in or watch the COSPLAY Contest. Each participant will receive a gift and enjoy the attractions of animation.

8. Gimhae Gaya Theme Park launched the Media Façade Show

A unique spectacle at night and a signal for a festival of lights in the middle of July

The Gimhae Gaya Theme Park, situated in Eobang-dong, Gimhae in Korea, will launch the first media façade in the Gyeongsangnam-do region, and present people with eye-catching scenery at night.

The Cheolgwangsan Symphony, with the theme of ??The Everlasting Festival Passed Down from the Ancient Times,?? is a multimedia show presenting the origin and transformation of Cheolgwangsan Mountain, considered a symbol of Gaya, with state-of-the-art 3D mapping videos and three-dimensional sound. In order to deliver a high-quality show, the preparation work was performed for 6 months.

The Media Façade Show is generally presented on an even surface of the wall of a typical building. On the other hand, the Cheolgwangsan Symphony has been praised for its liveliness and dynamicity, enhanced by the rugged terrains of Cheolgwangsan Mountain.

Of particular note, the Cheolgwangsan Performance Hall was honored with the Excellence Award at the 16th Gimhae Architecture Awards held last year. As such, the Cheolgwangsan Performance Hall, regarded as a landmark of the Gimhae Gaya Theme Park, will serve as the main stage for the Cheolgwangsan Symphony, and this is expected to bolster its symbolic function.

There will be two 6-minute shows every evening at 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Anyone with admissions to the park may watch the show from the Pokpo Square, located at the entrance of the Cheolgwangsan Performance Hall, free-of-charge. 

An official of Gimhae City said, ??We plan on launching a festival of lights called the Hi-LIGHT (tentative title) at the Gimhae Gaya Theme Park this coming July. The Cheolgwangsan Symphony, which could be called the intro to this festival, will raise anticipation for the festival.??

The Gimhae Gaya Theme Park is a place of culture and relaxation as well as an edutainment park for the residents of Gimhae. It is fast emerging as a landmark of the city and a major tourist attraction of the Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do area.

9. Pohang, Korea, set to host the Pohang International Fire & Light Festival 2016

Pohang, called the ??City of Fire and Light,?? will be hosting its iconic Pohang International Fire & Light Festival from July 28 to 31 at Yeongilman Beach and Hyeongsangang Sports Park.

The Pohang International Fire & Light Festival, celebrating its 13th anniversary this year, attracts more than a million tourists every year, and has indisputably become one of the most iconic summer festivals of Pohang.

This year, there will be various events and programs including the Light Parade, Daily Musical Fireworks Show, Lights Busking Festival, Lights Marketplace, Making Memories with Lights, Seated Light Tug of War, Catching the Golden Fish, Toad! Toad!, Light Magic School, experience programs and street performances. The much-anticipated main event, which is the Multi-Performing International Fireworks Show, will present the beautiful city of Pohang with around 100,000 fireworks set off against the backdrop of the beautiful sea, Yeongilman Bay and Hyeongsangang Estuary.

The festival organizer has been striving to boost the status of the Pohang International Fire & Light Festival as a representative festival of Korea by introducing various film direction methods and developing contents reflecting the local culture by incorporating them with diverse art genres.

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