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Market Watch

Travel Agencies Branch Out to Survive, Move into Food and Beverage, Fitness Sectors

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a crippling blow to Taiwan’s travel sector, and local travel agencies have seen their revenues plummet by more than 90%. Beyond pushing for a reopening of international travel, they are also searching to transform their operations to survive. Lion Travel has moved into the food and beverage industry, and Phoenix Tours opened a fitness center, food court and leisure hotel. After getting an investment from Argo Yacht Club, Star Travel has planned themed travel featuring yachting trips.

Photo: China Times

Source: China Times
Full article

Analyst Sees iPhone12 Triggering Unprecedented Upgrade Cycle

Apple has unveiled its new series of four iPhone 12 devices, and their 5G connectivity could lead to robust new demand. Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives described China as the “linchpin to Apple’s 5G super-cycle” because 20% of the iPhone upgrades will come from there. He estimated that 350 million of the 950 million iPhones worldwide present an “upgrade opportunity,” which could “translate into an unprecedented upgrade cycle.”

Photo: Apple

Source:, AFP, CNBC
Full article

Digital Transformation! Decades-old Brand Formosa Optical Upends the Industry

Formosa Optical has set a standard for professionalism for many years and pioneered a policy of four optical guarantees – quality, technology, satisfaction and service. It has served Taiwan for 40 years, and with advances in technology, the company has sensed changes in consumption trends and embraced digital transformation.

The four main transformation priorities are:

  • Equipment upgrades + digitization to deliver even more specialized eyeglass services
  • Integration of the virtual and physical worlds to create complete channel services
  • AR used to help customers try eyeglass frames, contact lenses
  • People put first, efforts made to promote good vision

Source: Business Next
Full article

From Social Banking to Internet-only Bank, LINE Financial Service Strategies Taking Shape

LINE messaging services have a high penetration rate in Taiwan with 21 million users. What innovative services is it planning as it enters the financial services sector?

LINE has adopted different strategies and approaches to gain footholds in the financial services sector of the three main markets in its sights: Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.

Japan: Financial services include LINE PAY, LINE Kakeibo (personal finances accounting), LINE Insurance, LINE Smart Invest, LINE Score, LINE Pocket Money and LINE Securities.

Thailand: Currently offers deposit and loan services

Taiwan: LINE Bank currently offers deposit, personal loan, transfer and debit card services and plans to gradually integrate LINE Bank with the LINE ecosystem and develop tie-ins with different outside partners


Source: Business Next
Full article

21 Advertisers Sound Off on Value of Podcast Ads and How to Choose the Right One

Podcasts have unquestionably emerged as the hottest new media in Taiwan in 2020, and they represent the new marketing channel advertisers are most focused on. A survey of 21 companies that have advertised on podcasts found that more than half had results that surpassed their expectations.

They offered two standards for choosing an appropriate podcaster:

  • Can make use of niche podcasts to deepen communications with target audience, improve precision of ad placements
  • Work with several podcasters to optimize acquisition of new customer segments

Source: Business Weekly
Full article

Facebook Develops New AI Language Tool, Can Translate any Pair of 100 Languages

Facebook has introduced a new AI language model that can translate between any two of 100 different languages without having to go into English first.

This new multilingual machine translation model, called the “M2M-100,” was trained on a data set of 7.5 billion sentences for 100 languages based on 15 billion parameters. The M2M-100’s BLEU (bilingual language understudy) translation scores have achieved a 10-point improvement over English-centric multilingual models, and the system has a 90% accuracy rate, according to the company,.

Source: INSIDE
Full article

In the Social Media Age, Nano Influencers May Pack the Biggest Punch

Earning the trust of consumers is a long-term process, but working with the right KOL (key opinion leader) can get twice the results with half the effort. Many companies have tried to learn about business models involving KOL marketing in recent years to gain exposure for their brands. At the same time, KOLs are looking to increase their income from order transfers, purchase referrals and group purchases and monetize traffic. Among KOLs, the advantages of nano influencers (those with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) can in some cases allow them to wield more influence than mega influencers.

Nano influencers have the following advantages:

  • Appear more genuine, accessible (like somebody close to you)
  • Are more intimate (have high degrees of interaction with their followers)
  • High fan loyalty, stickiness (generate strong traffic and reach)
  • More focused on product’s strengths and weaknesses (they pay more attention to follower preferences when choosing products to endorse)

Source: Business Next
Full article

Tourism Industry Update

Tourism Outbound Departure Statistics, January-September 2020

Chart: Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications
Chart: Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications

1.  Taiwanese went abroad 2,261,190 times in the first night months of 2020, down 82.67% from the same period of 2019, when people went abroad 13,049,079 times. In September alone, there were only 31,622 outbound departures, down 97.70% from 1,372,190 departures in September 2019.

2.  The top destination for outbound travelers from January to September 2020 was Japan, mainly because of its popularity as a destination in the first quarter of 2020 before cross-border travel ground to a halt, followed by China, South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Travel to all of these destinations was down dramatically from 2019, falling by as much as 88.68% to Hong Kong.

Source: Tourism Bureau Monthly Statistics

DGBAS Latest Economic Indicators for September 2020

Chart: Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS)

1. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was down 0.58% in September from the same period of a year earlier, and the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) fell 8.12% year-on-year.

2. Industrial production rose 5.6% in the third quarter, while retail sector revenue rose 4.6%

Charts: DGBAS

1. The average regular monthly wage for employees (including full-time and some hourly Taiwanese and foreign workers) in August was NT$42,636, up 1.27% year-on-year. Average monthly earnings, which include bonuses, overtime pay, and other irregular income, was NT$50,866, down 0.18% from a year earlier.

2. In September, 11.50 million people were employed, and 458,000 people were unemployed, resulting in an unemployment rate was 3.83% that was lowered to 3.78% after seasonal adjustments. The labor participation rate was 59.12%.

Source: DGBAS Latest Indicators

Passenger Traffic on Taiwanese Airlines Down 69.7% in First 8 Months of 2020

In the first eight months of 2020, Taiwanese airlines carried 14.81 million passengers, down 69.7% from the same period a year earlier, according to Civil Aeronautics Administration statistics. The carriers have been hit hard by the global COVID-19 pandemic that has forced countries to adopt strict border restrictions and prevention epidemic measures. Their passenger traffic began declining precipitously in February and fell to 420,000 passengers in April (y-o-y decline of 93.2%). As the outbreak eased in Taiwan in the middle of the year, travel restrictions within Taiwan were lifted and domestic air travel rebounded starting in June. But overall passenger traffic remained depressed by the sustained slump in international travel, falling a combined 75.6% in July and August.

Source: DGBAS

Singapore Airlines Pandemic Promotion – Turning an A380 into a Restaurant

The global aviation industry has been battered by the coronavirus outbreak, and many airlines are fighting for survival. Singapore Airlines has come up with a promotion to satisfy people’s pent-up demand for air travel, turning an Airbus A380 into a restaurant on Oct. 24 and 25. Customers will board the plane, enjoy a meal and watch a movie as though they were traveling overseas, even though the plane will stay on the ground.

Photo: Singapore Airlines

Source: Central News Agency

Mandarin Airlines Offer Exclusive Charter to Taitung New Year’s Eve Concert

Where can people go in Taiwan to ring in the New Year? One choice is to head to Taitung for the aMei Utopia East concert by Chang Hui-mei (A Mei). Mandarin Airlines is offering an exclusive Utopia East package to give the singer’s fans in Taipei the chance to celebrate the New Year with her. The package includes VIP platinum concert seats and a round-trip flight, with a return leg that departs Taitung at dawn to catch the first sunrise of 2021 from the sky. The Mandarin Airlines concert package costs NT$9,888 per person.

Photo: Mandarin Airlines

Source: Mandarin Airlines

Sun Moon Lake Come!BikeDay Festival to Run until Nov. 21

The 2020 Sun Moon Lak Come!BikeDay Cycling, Music & Fireworks Festival series of activities are being held from Oct. 8 to Nov. 21. The festival has adopted three main themes to spur post-pandemic tourism in the area – “comforting music,” “passionate sparks,” and “hope and healing.” The organizers hope the festivities will light up people’s lives and help them find happiness and hope, even in these difficult times.

Source: Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Tourism Bureau

Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises Latest Cruise Lines Set to Resume Keelung Services

Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream launched island hopping cruises around Taiwan starting on July 26 as COVID-19 fears eased in Taiwan and then offered “Discover Taiwan” tours in mid-October. Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises are now following in Dream Cruises’ footsteps, planning to resume service out of Keelung in late 2020 and March 2021, respectively. They intend to run simple tours out to sea or island-hopping itineraries, hoping to capitalize on pent-up demand for traveling away from Taiwan.

Photo: Dream Cruises

Sources: China Times

Domestic Travel Surge May Not Be Enough to Help Travel Agencies Survive

Since Taiwan began opening up in May as COVID-19 fears eased, domestic travel has boomed, resulting in a massive influx of visitors into major tourist areas. But has that surge helped hard hit travel agencies and operators overcome this difficult period for them? Apparently not. Kevin Tsai, an associate professor in Yu Da University of Science and Technology’s Department of Tourism and Leisure Management, said the domestic travel sector was billed as a NT$400 billion pie that could help travel operators. But about 90 percent involves people traveling on their own who do not use travel agencies, and only about 10 percent involves those taking group tours. Tsai said it will still be difficult to rescue the 3,000 travel agencies in Taiwan that have long depended on overseas travel or car rentals or car hire companies that depended on inbound travelers and are now struggling to stay alive.

Source: China Times

Singapore and Hong Kong Set Up Bilateral Air Travel Bubble

The two major international aviation hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong have set up a bilateral air travel bubble that could start functioning in November. Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said that under the arrangement there will be no restrictions on purposes of travel or quarantines on arrival. But travelers will be required to have been in Hong Kong or Singapore for 14 days before departure and test negative for the coronavirus before leaving.

Photo: Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Source: Central News Agency (CNA)

Media News

Messenger and Instagram Chat Features Merged; Eliminates Need for App

Facebook has announced that Messenger and Instagram’s chat features will be integrated so that users can benefit from a seamless communications experience across the two platforms. The move means that Messenger or Instagram users will not have to download a new App to share messages or make video calls with the other platform.

Facebook has also extended several service experiences to Instagram messaging features. They include “replies” (to respond directly to specific messages), “forwarding” (sharing content with others), and “chat colors” (to personalize chats with color gradients). Users can also create “custom emoji reactions” and “animated message effects” to add visual flair to messages sent in chat rooms and make interacting more fun.


Sources: Business Next, Instagram
Full article…

What Is Remarketing? 7 Classic Facebook Remarketing Approaches

Remarketing, as the name implies, involves re-engaging “target customers.” Why should you emphasize target customers? Because if you do not delineate a specific target group at which to direct ad placements, your ads and placements will be no different from “mass market” ads and will not achieve remarketing benefits.

In Facebook Remarketing, there are seven main groups of people to target who may have some interest in your brand or approaches to use (listed in order from less advanced to more advanced methods):

1. Dedicated followers (fan club)

2. People who have interacted on your Facebook page (using Like/Comment/Share/Click/Inbox)k page (using Like/Comment/Share/Click/Inbox)

3. People who have seen a target video

4. People who have sent a private message to your Facebook page

5. Usage of existing customer information through data uploads

6. People who have visited your website

7. Targeting based off of specific behavior of users on the website


Full article

LINE Introduces ‘Official Account List+’ Tag Function, Personalized Menu

To further strengthen “precision marketing,” LINE has introduced more advanced “tag” functions that enable marketers to automatically set specific hashtags as they are chatting with customers. The latest upgrade has three main features.

● Feature 1: Automatic hashtag classification during a chat; message tag function available for free

● Feature 2: Personalized image menu, livening up the content friends see

● Feature 3: Setting of keywords, enabling automatic responses

LINE stressed that its new “Official Account List+” does not require an API connection to be able to use different modules and functions. As long as you have a “medium usage” account (monthly fee NT$800), the service can be used for free, and hashtag data can be accumulated by pressing just one button. This is good news for businesses that do not have the ability to create API connections.


Source: Business Next
Full article…

Can You Sell Anything in Podcast Ads? Keys to ‘Monetization’ of Podcast Promotions

The popularity of podcasts has soared this year, and the number of podcasts has multiplied exponentially, by a factor of as much as 100. Based on data from Taiwan podcast broadcasting company SoundOn, in September 2019 there were only 30 programs, compared to more than 3,600 programs today. Believe it or not, podcasts are starting to have an impact.

In a 2020 Taiwan podcast sector survey presented by SoundOn, two statistics stood out: 86% of listeners supported the idea of podcasts using “embedded advertising” to make money and 14.85% of listeners had bought products advertised on podcasts.

Business Next interviewed Taiwan’s three highest-rated podcasters, some of the first brands to work with podcasters, Taiwanese podcasting platforms, and agents of influencers to see how different podcast business models have worked in practice. Among other things, it found that the phenomenon of podcast listeners being “big buyers” of advertised products to be real because of their strong loyalty, but the trend could diminish as the number of listeners grows. It also concluded that podcasts do not yet pose a threat to such platforms as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, but they do offer some advantages, such as decent value for money, that could interest advertisers.

Chart: Business Next

Source: Business Next
Full article…

Case Studies

Korea Tourism Organization

‘Korea Wants to See You, Tigerair Ready to Take Off’

Campaign Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept people from traveling abroad, leading to huge pent-up demand for overseas trips. Some people are so eager to travel they have signed up for so-called “flight to nowhere” experiences. Seeing an opportunity, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) joined with Tigerair Taiwan and ezfly on a “Korea Wants to See You, Tigerair Ready to Take Off” promotion taking people on a flight over Jeju Island. The goal was to create interest in Korea and build “share of mind” so that when the pandemic ends, Korea will be the first destination Taiwanese want to visit.

Campaign Features

Tickets for the “Korea Wants to See You, Tigerair Ready to Take Off” activity sold out in just minutes when they went on sale on Sept. 11. Participants were able to fly over Jeju Island and see its beauty from the air, get a ticket for a future flight to any destination in Korea, and take part in a draw for a 4-day, 3-night flight and accommodation package to Korea in the future.

On the day of the event, the boarding area was turned into a “Korean Experience Pavilion.” Every passenger received a bag of Korean snacks, and some were able to dress in traditional Korean garb and have their picture taken with the aircraft. They were also able to try their hand at Korean games (such as pitch-pot) and “check in” with photos to win prizes. The newest KTO mascots – Hojong (tiger), Mugo (bear) and Kawoo (magpie) – were on hand and had fun with the passengers, and the Jeju tourism office in Taipei gave a briefing on travel there and answered questions while offering gifts from the island.

On board, passengers feasted on a genuine Korean fried chicken meal, learned words from the Jeju dialect, took part in prize drawings and received post cards of Jeju, and they also wrote and later had post cards sent to themselves at the end of their experience to remember their trip.

The activity gained considerable exposure in Taiwanese media and also was reported in Korean media:




Key Visual

Activities in the boarding area

Welcome gifts – a Korean traditional fan and bag of snacks
A passenger plays the traditional Korean game pitch-pot.
A passenger poses for a photo with KTO mascots Hojong (right) and Mugo.
A passenger poses for a photo with KTO mascots Hojong (right) and Mugo.
Passengers place stickers on attractions in Jeju they most want to see in this Jeju sticker game.
Passenger group photo

On board activities

A passenger in a traditional Korean robe has her photo taken with the aircraft.
Passengers learn words in the Jeju dialect.
The fried chicken meal served on the plane
A look at Jeju from the air
Passengers write post cards in the air to leave memories of their trip
Onboard group photo

National Taiwan Sport University 2020 Water Safety Promotion

Campaign Background

This campaign was focused on promoting the importance of water safety and help people understand water rescue and drowning prevention measures. These include “four self-rescue strategies,” “10 drowning prevention steps,” and “five drowning rescue techniques” to raise awareness of water awareness issues. We relied on internet marketing methods to design eye-catching, creative key visuals and used them for the activity’s webpage. Aside from using data analysis for precise digital ads drawing people to displays on the webpage, we also used influencer marketing to get people to visit the Sports Administration “Water Safety Carnival” and share activity content and water safety information. The popularity of these influencers was effective in promoting water safety knowledge.

Key Ad Visual

Activity Landing Page Design

Activity landing page link:

Desktop version of the landing page

LINE Image Design

A series of five interesting images were developed for sharing on LINE to highlight the five keys to preventing drowning, as shown below:

Influencer Appearances at Campaign Events

We invited parent-child influencers to attend the “Water Safety Carnival” organized by the Sports Administration. Their description of the event drew fans to attend in person. This was different than the typical Google banner-driven location-based services ad campaign. The photos showing the influencers participating in the event strengthened the incentive for followers to experience the carnival in person.

Influencers “Book’s Travel”

Yung-Yung Fu-Fu Blog


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