- LINE Promotes e-Vouchers to Satisfy Younger Generation’s ‘Sense of Ritual’
- Golden 15 Minutes – Taipei MRT Using Big Data to Improve Public Bathroom Services
- ‘Demon Slayer’ Surpasses ‘Frozen’ as Top Animation Box Office Hit in Taiwan
- 3 Reasons Why Japanese Conveyor Belt Sushi Brands Flocking to Taiwa
- ‘Super Nintendo World’ with Mario Kart Ride, Mushroom Kingdom to Open in Osaka
- To Deal with 2020’s High Anxiety, Iceland Ready to Help You Scream and ‘Let It Out’
- Instagram Shopping Feature Comes to Taiwan’s Market
Tourism Industry Update
- Taiwan Outbound Departure Statistics, January-October 2020
- DGBAS Latest Economic Indicators for October 2020
- Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess Set to Return to Taiwan in 2021
- ‘Wake Up in the Philippines,’ Create a Beautiful Travel Dream
- ‘Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival’ Goes Online to Show Off Delicacies
- MOTC Proposes Micro Travel 2.0, Hopes to Boost Air Travel Experiences, Local Exploration
- Budget Airlines Could Take Share of Business Travel Market as Corporate Travel Budgets Fall
- Cycling Taiwan Promotion Gains Momentum
- For NT$30,000, VIPs Get Exclusive Tour on Award-winning TRA Railcar
- Why Did a 38-year-old CEO Buy a Hotel at a Time When They Are Being Dumped?
- Domestic Travel Just Not the Same! Survey Finds 60% of Taiwanese Eager to Travel Abroad
- Taiwan’s Tourism Marketing Gone Wrong? Turning Something into Nothing: director
- LINE Launches Biometrics to Log In; iPad Users to Get the First Crack at It
- Facebook Messenger and Instagram Add Automatic ‘Vanish Mode’ Feature
- Ads for Listeners! Google Introduces Audio Ads on YouTube in Beta
- What Are Young People Watching? YouTube Has the Answer
- Facebook Uses Three Major Indicators to Prioritize Posts, Filter Content
LINE Promotes e-Vouchers to Satisfy Younger Generation’s ‘Sense of Ritual’
The younger generation is big on a “sense of ritual,” including gift giving, and messaging service LINE has noticed. Since LINE introduced “Cool Vouchers” in 2015, the number of vouchers given as gifts on special days, such as Valentine’s Day and April Fools’ Day, has steadily risen. E-voucher gift-givers are generally in the 25-30 age group, reflecting the acceptance of the concept among younger consumers. Giving an e-voucher is easy. Just go to the LINE “Cool Voucher” page, order the product you want, pay for it, and choose the LINE account of the gift’s recipient. The vouchers can be sent to the recipient’s chat window and a gift card can even be attached. In July, LINE’s home page added a “birthday friend” feature, enabling users to send greeting cards and gifts to friends and linking the gift-giving feature to LINE “Cool Vouchers.” The company hopes that with LINE’s high market penetration and strong social community base in Taiwan, it can change local consumers’ gift-giving habits and drive the e-voucher market.
Source: Business Next
Golden 15 Minutes – Taipei MRT Using Big Data to Improve Public Bathroom Services
The Taipei MRT has started to limit the time people can spend in 54 of its bathrooms. If a person spends more than 15 minutes in one of these “smart” bathrooms, a station worker will check on that person; spend more than 30 minutes and an alarm will go off. Timers in bathrooms send data to a computer that tracks the usage frequency of each bathroom, including the number of people who used it and the average time spent in it. The 15-30 minute period, calculated using big data, can be used to prevent or quickly detect bathroom accidents and assess how often MRT bathrooms should be cleaned.
‘Demon Slayer’ Surpasses ‘Frozen’ as Top Animation Box Office Hit in Taiwan
The movie “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” hit theaters in Taiwan on Oct. 30 and broke NT$100 million at the box office in just three days, beating “Frozen 2,” which reached the box office milestone in four days. It also became Taiwan’s biggest box office hit in 2020. In Japan, it had a box office of 4.6 billion yen (NT$1.25 billion) in three days and more than 10 billion yen in 10 days, setting the record for a publicly released movie for fastest to 10 billion yen. The record was previously held by “Spirited Away” in 2001, which took 25 days to get box office revenue of 10 billion yen.
Source: Central News Agency
3 Reasons Why Japanese Conveyor Belt Sushi Brands Flocking to Taiwan
In recent years, Japanese restaurant chain brands Kura Sushi, Hama Sushi and Sushiro have all popped up in Taiwan. Kura arrived in 2014, Hama in 2016 and Sushiro in 2018, and this year Morimori Sushi Kanazawa Forus Restaurant entered the market. These Japanese brands have opened nearly 60 restaurants in Taiwan – 29 for Kura, six for Hama and 19 for Sushiro – contributing to the roughly 160 conveyor belt sushi outlets that exist across the country. Why are these sushi brands looking beyond Japan?
- Japan’s population is shrinking, and the amount of fish consumed is also on the decline, down from 40.2 kilos per person in Japan in 2001 to 24 kilos per person in 2017.
- Japan’s restaurant business is fiercely competitive, and if a brand’s equipment and product development falls behind, the brand will have trouble surviving
- The conveyor belt sushi concept relies on IT automation for staff scheduling and production forecasting to lower manpower costs and unnecessary expenses. These brands have developed robust technologies, enabling them to sustain their models abroad.
Source: CommonWealth Magazine
‘Super Nintendo World’ with Mario Kart Ride, Mushroom Kingdom to Open in Osaka
Five years in the making, “Super Nintendo World” will open in Universal Studios Japan in Osaka on Feb. 4, 2021. It hopes to create an incredible game world for Nintendo fans to experience Mario’s world first-hand. So what classic themes will be showcased at “Super Nintendo World”? The two main attractions will be a Mario Kart ride called Koopa’s Challenge and a Mushroom Kingdom featuring a Yoshi’s Adventure Ride that emphasizes parent-child entertainment.
Source: Business Next
To Deal with 2020’s High Anxiety, Iceland Ready to Help You Scream and ‘Let It Out’
Several countries have launched a variety of ad videos during the global COVID-19 epidemic to provide comfort to people in these difficult times. One of those is from Iceland. It alludes to the peak of the pandemic, when people were confined to their houses or rooms and felt anxious and depressed, and invites them to scream to relieve their stress. The campaign plays on the deepest inner need of people during the pandemic – to scream – and its core message encourages people to “let it out.”
How to participate: Go to the activity’s website, choose the place where you want to scream, use your smartphone to record your scream, and the campaign’s organizer will release it in an Icelandic setting.
Instagram Shopping Feature Comes to Taiwan’s Market
Instagram currently has more than 1 billion global users, of which 90% follow corporate brand accounts. In Taiwan, it has nearly 8.73 million users (about 36.6% of Taiwan’s population), with Gen Y (roughly 25-40 years old) the most represented age group, coinciding with the biggest group of online shoppers. With that in mind, “Instagram Shopping” is destined to become an indispensable option for future brands when they set up their e-commerce channels. It has three major advantages:
- Provides a novel shopping experience: Brands can tag new products on IG posts, stories and live streams, enabling potential customers to buy products on the spot whenever they see a brand’s content.
- Elevates products’ exposure: Brands can make use of Instagram’s news feed, stories and explore features and business profiles to give exposure to products.
- Tell moving stories: 80% of respondents to a Facebook survey said they use Instagram images, videos and photos to decide whether or not to make a purchase.
Tourism Industry Update
Taiwan Outbound Departure Statistics, January-October 2020
1. Taiwanese went abroad 2,291,580 times in the first 10 months of 2020, down 84.27% from the same period of 2019, when 14,566,253 people went abroad.
2. The top destination for outbound travelers from January to October 2020 was Japan, mainly because of its popularity as a destination in the first quarter of 2020 before COVID-19 brought cross-border travel to a halt, followed by China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Travel to all five destinations was down from a year earlier, falling by as much as 89.58% to Hong Kong.
DGBAS Latest Economic Indicators for October 2020
- The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.24% in October 2020 compared to the same month in 2019, while the Wholesale Price Index fell 7.37% year-on-year.
- The Industrial Production Index was 122.00 in October 2020, down 1.40% from the previous month but up 7.06% compared with October 2019.
- Export orders received by Taiwanese companies totaled US$51.59 billion in October 2020, up US$1.56 billion or 3.1% from the previous month, and up 0.8% from the previous month after seasonal adjustments.
- The average regular wage for employed workers (including full-time and some hourly Taiwanese and foreign workers) in September was NT$42,757, up 2.11% from the same month a year earlier. Average monthly earnings, which include bonuses, overtime pay and other irregular income, was NT$50,512, up 2.41% year-on-year.
- There were 11.51 million people employed and 455,000 unemployed in September, resulting in an unemployment rate of 3.80%, which was lowered to 3.77% after season adjustments. The labor participation rate was 59.13%.
Source: DGBAS Latest Indicators
Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess Set to Return to Taiwan in 2021
As the global cruise industry gradually starts to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading luxury cruise brand Princess Cruises has announced it will deploy the Sapphire Princess to Taiwan in 2021, with Keelung its home port. The company currently plans to operate domestic island-hopping cruises (calling on Kinmen, Penghu and Matsu) from April to August, but if the pandemic eases and travel restrictions are lifted, the itineraries could be adjusted, with trips to Japan and South Korea added.
‘Wake Up in the Philippines,’ Create a Beautiful Travel Dream
The Taiwan branch of the Philippine Department of Tourism has posted 15 “Wake Up in the Philippines” videos on its website to keep the island country in local consumers’ minds. These exquisitely produced videos take you to explore the archipelago’s 7,641 islands, navigate the Philippines’ deep blue seas, enjoy exciting activities, shuttle between lively festivals, discover a historical heritage and culture, and taste a wide array of classic Philippine cuisine.
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival’ Goes Online to Show Off Delicacies
The “Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival” will be both online and offline for the first time this year when it is held from Nov. 11 to Dec. 15. The event most anticipated by overseas visitors to its one-stop-shop platform are online master classes being held by top Hong Kong chefs and wine & spirits experts. A total of 34 classes are being held on three consecutive weekends starting on Nov. 21, and will give everybody a virtual gourmet tour of Hong Kong.
MOTC Proposes Micro Travel 2.0, Hopes to Boost Air Travel Experiences, Local Exploration
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has proposed a Micro Travel 2.0 plan that will ease restrictions on domestic flights and allow airlines to fly previously untapped routes. One route, for example, could allow local carriers to fly between Taiwan’s main international gateway, Taoyuan International Airport, and other airports on the island of Taiwan capable of handling big planes. The plan would showcase the diversity of local tourism in Taiwan, and combine novel flight experiences and local itineraries. The goal is to give a boost to the tourism and aviation sectors and duty-free shops at airports and help them overcome the difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Budget Airlines Could Take Share of Business Travel Market as Corporate Travel Budgets Fall
The terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 set off an airline crisis that made budget airlines the undisputed leaders in leisure flights. Now, the global coronavirus pandemic could help them get a share of the business travel market. According to Coupa Software, the average price per ticket bought through corporate accounts in the third quarter fell 45% year-on-year, exposing companies’ sensitivity to price that could present an opening to low-cost carriers.
Cycling Taiwan Promotion Gains Momentum
Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau has announced that 2021 will be the Year of Cycling Tourism in Taiwan, and it has set up a display in front of a green wall on the first floor of the Q Square Mall in Taipei to promote the many experiences available when cycling around Taiwan. The exhibit, which will run from Nov. 18 to Dec. 14, highlights 16 different cycling itineraries and photos of these many routes. The Tourism Bureau said it expects to complete improvements to seven of the featured routes by the end of the year.
For NT$30,000, VIPs Get Exclusive Tour on Award-winning TRA Railcar
The winner of a Japan Good Design Award, a unique Taiwan Railways Administration Railcar train will formally begin commercial service in January 2021. Prior to its official debut, however, the train made a private run around Taiwan in mid-November, taking 180 VIPs, many of whom were chairmen or presidents of listed companies, on an exclusive three-day, two-night trip that cost NT$30,000 per person. This special customized service could open a new opportunity for a tourism sector hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
Why Did a 38-year-old CEO Buy a Hotel at a Time When They Are Being Dumped?
Small and medium-sized hotels in Taiwan are being sold off amid the coronavirus pandemic. Yet Wu Bing-ting (吳秉庭), co-founder of the Chase Walker Hotel, Taiwan’s first self-service hotel, has seen it as a great opportunity to jump in and get a bargain. That’s because he believes he can inexpensively expand his Dun-qian Intelligent Hotel Management portfolio of affordable, mostly self-service hotels and be perfectly positioned for success once the pandemic ends.
Domestic Travel Just Not the Same! Survey Finds 60% of Taiwanese Eager to Travel Abroad
Club Med conducted a post-COVID-19 travel intentions survey among Taiwanese aged 25-55, and found that just over two-thirds (67.3%) have taken short domestic trips as a substitute for overseas travel, but 40% felt domestic travel could not replace overseas travel. Nearly 60% of respondents said they would be willing to travel to low-risk destinations abroad within 12 months after the lifting of global pandemic restrictions, signaling the strong yearning that exists in Taiwan for overseas travel.
Charts: Club Med
Taiwan’s Tourism Marketing Gone Wrong? Turning Something into Nothing: director
History and culture are often sacrificed at the expense of commercial interests, but Taiwan’s localities should develop commerce by showcasing their history and culture, according to film director Wei Te-sheng. He cited the example of Taiwan’s tourism sector and why its marketing invariably lags behind Japan’s. In fact, Japan does not have anything special, he said, “but they can turn nothing special into something special. Taiwan takes things that are special and turns them into nothing special.” If Taiwan did things on a big enough scale with greater care and sophistication, it would not have to try to promote itself to the world, Wei argued. Instead, the world would naturally come to Taiwan, he believed.
Source: Storm Media
LINE Launches Biometrics to Log In; iPad Users to Get the First Crack at It
There’s good news for LINE users who are afraid of forgetting their password or too lazy to set a secure one. The messaging service has started to introduce the use of biometrics (such as facial recognition or fingerprints) to log into a LINE account.
The new feature is available through LINE version 10.18.0 and above, and LINE iPad users will be the first to experience it. As early as the end of this year, the biometric login feature will also be incorporated into the desktop version of LINE, and the company expects to begin applying it next year to transferring a LINE account and logging into LINE family apps.
Sources: LINE Taiwan official blog
Facebook Messenger and Instagram Add Automatic ‘Vanish Mode’ Feature
Facebook is preparing to introduce a “vanish mode” on both Messenger and Instagram. Users simply have to swipe up in an existing chat thread and messages, photos, videos, stickers or other content that were sent will automatically disappear after they are seen and the user leaves the chat. That content will not stay in a person’s chat history. To close the vanish mode, simply swipe up again and the user is back to the regular chat.
Ads for Listeners! Google Introduces Audio Ads on YouTube in Beta
Information is now being delivered in an increasing number of formats. Beyond videos, users are increasingly gravitating to the use of YouTube as a music and podcast player as they work out or cook to enjoy content without relying on a screen. To capitalize on this ambient listening trend, Google is introducing audio ads on YouTube in beta, which will allow digital ads to reach users in more diverse ways.
The main feature of audio ads is the use of sound as the main advertising medium to convey information, with visual effects limited to static images or simple animations. YouTube found after months of alpha testing that more than 75% of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness, effectively strengthening the delivery of brand messages.
Source: INSIDE, Google
What Are Young People Watching? YouTube Has the Answer
YouTube and popular social platform Dcard teamed up on a “‘Young People, What Are You Watching’ YouTube User Habits Survey” to better understand young people’s viewing and listening habits. The results revealed the preferences and special traits of people aged 18 to 24 when watching online video platforms.
The survey found that 37% of respondents preferred watching “entertaining/funny” videos, while 17% said they most liked watching “music” videos. Other types of content also had extremely loyal followers.
When asked about the reasons why they liked going on YouTube, 72% of respondents said it was to relax and pass the time, while 59% said it was because of interest in a particular video’s topic. As for how to strengthen the willingness of young viewers to watch a video, 96% said the key was attractive content, while 77% also pointed to the personal draw of the creator of the content.
Facebook Uses Three Major Indicators to Prioritize Posts, Filter Content
As Facebook’s operations continue to grow, simply relying on reported posts from members of the community to chase down harmful content is no longer efficient or sustainable. In fact, Facebook’s content-filtering methods have steadily evolved with ongoing advances in technology. At a briefing in mid-November, the company said AI systems have played a more important role in recent times to identify and remove content that violates its rules before it is seen and reported by any users.
Facebook said it now uses improved machine learning processes to prioritize the review of potentially harmful posts based on three key indicators: the posts’ virality and severity and the likelihood they are breaking the rules.
Content that is being quickly shared and may violate community rules will be prioritized in the queue of posts to be reviewed by moderators over posts that are not being shared or clicked on.
Content that could result in actual violence, such as suicide, self-abuse or the sexual exploitation of children, are given higher priority in the queue by Facebook’s algorithm than posts that are potentially less harmful, such as spam.
- Likelihood of Violations
Content that may be similar to posts that violate Facebook rules are given higher priority in the review queue than posts that do not seem to be in violation of those rules.
Source: TechNews, The Verge
British Council Taiwan IELTS Test Center
‘IELTS Testing Digital Campaign’
The number of Taiwanese who went abroad to study rose every year from 2015 to 2019, with the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada the most common destinations, according to Ministry of Education statistics. The vast majority of those destinations are English-speaking countries, and English proficiency certification is one of the keys when applying to schools in those areas.
Many students, however, have long had questions about the testing process, such as “What should I take: TOEFL or IELTS?” “Should I take TOEFL if I’m going to the U.S. and IELTS if I’m going to the U.K.?” and “Which is easier, TOEFL or IELTS?”
Designed from the consumer’s perspective, this promotional campaign used different communication media to help students interested in taking an English proficiency test understand the unique strengths and benefits of the IELTS program. It also provided test-preparation resources from the British Council.
‘10-Day English Word Challenge’ Facebook Chatbot Activity
The first message on the activity was posted on Facebook on Aug. 24, 2020.
Those who left the comment “1 Day, 1 Word” at the bottom of the post were eligible to receive the Day 1 word in a fan group private message. A new word and practice question were provided every day, and participants were encouraged to share the words with their friends and get them involved. Those who completed the exercises over the first five days and over the full 10 days could take part in exclusive British Council lucky draws.
The second Facebook activity post was posted on Oct. 12, 2020
Used activity data to identify which practice question was answered incorrectly the most, then created a post around the question, drawing people in to take the challenge a second time
‘IELTS Opens the World’s Doors to You’ Campaign Site
Answered students’ questions, such as “Why IELTS?” and “Why British Council?” and then provided test information.
“IELTS vs. TOEFL Test Comparison, Sharing IELTS Test Preparation Resources” KOL YouTube Video
Had a specialized English teacher who uses TOEFL among her main teaching material take the IELTS test without any preparation to draw the interest of the target audience. After taking the test, she talked about IELTS’ emphasis on using English in daily life, offered tips about certification for top American schools, and introduced test preparation resources provided by the British Council.