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Taiwan Eyes YouTube as New Way to Promote Tourism

In the past, Taiwan typically did tourism marketing through film and television. A Korean travel program raised Taiwan’s profile in 2013 and arrivals increased that year by 53% over 2012. Japanese movie stars Masami Nagasawa and Takuya Kimura have also featured in Taiwan tourism videos.

Now the Taiwan government is considering whether to use YouTube for more boosts in tourism. YouTube is watched more than 1 billion hours daily, and 1.5 billion users login per month.

Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau has taken note of the potential and in 2015 set up a YouTube contest. The event titled “Taiwan Travel Without Limits - Global Internet Video Contributing Contest” invites foreign visitors to share experiences travel and dining adventures in Taiwan.

Contest entry views from overseas in 2015 and 2016 reached a total of 600,000. This was the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s first attempt to collaborate with the platform.

The Bureau has indicated it believe that leveraging the influence of YouTubers with large followings is an effective way to promote Taiwan as a tourist destination.

There’s no new contest scheduled, but the Tourism Bureau hopes to find more high-profile YouTubers to feature Taiwan in their videos, a representative of the bureau’s international marketing division said.

Brian Suh, director of YouTube Partner Program for greater China and Korea, said more than half of the total hours of YouTube videos watched in Taiwan in 2017 were from overseas.

The number of expatriate YouTubers in Taiwan rose in 2016 and 2017. Some indirectly promote tourism by comparing life in Taiwan to that of other countries.

YouTuber Logan Beckham, operator of LoganDBeck Beckham since March last year, has racked up 190,000 subscriptions.

He covers Taiwan's temple culture, local food and American-Taiwanese couples. Although Beckham is from the United States, most of his audience is not. Despite his videos’ Chinese and English subtitles, 70% of the audience is Taiwanese, baring the challenge of attracting views from foreigners who might travel.

In 2017 the Taipei city government marketed the Summer Universiade sporting event by collaborating with nine Taiwanese YouTubers to create a new form of marketing video which harnessed the power of their online following.

YouTube offers automatically generated subtitles and a translation option to help viewers break down language barriers. It supports 80 languages and gets views in over 90 countries.

But a 2011 study by Queen Margaret University researchers found based on 320 YouTube promotional videos from Europe that “more research is required” to understand how viewers select and use the information for trip planning.

News source is from Business Next.