Taiwan's Online Tourism Marketing Spends Public Money for Nothing

Taiwan's Online Tourism Marketing Spends Public Money for Nothing
Credit: Tricky Taipei

What you need to know

Taiwan's online tourism marketing is nothing short of a disgrace.

In a previous post, we looked at the horrific social media marketing from Taiwan Tourism’s New York office. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. This is the Facebook page of Taiwan Tourism UK. All screenshots were taken today on April 20, 2018.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

The government’s tourism office in Frankfurt, Germany is responsible for this page since the Frankfurt office covers all marketing campaigns in Europe. As usual, there’s no verified checkmark on this account, or any of Taiwan’s official tourism accounts.


There are more than 11,000 likes. But sometimes it is the only one liking its posts. Hey, there’s no shame in that.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

Other times, the only share comes from Hsieh Chang-ming (謝長明), the director of Taiwan Tourism in the Frankfurt office. Yes, the boss is watching.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

So what are they sharing out into the world about Taiwan?

There’s the expected word-salad English like this post below about Ximending. Luckily, it’s nowhere near as ludicrous as what was happening on the @triptotaiwan Twitter account.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

But do they filter for appropriate content that shows the world how great Taiwan is? Of course not.

Below might be the first time in history that a government-run tourism account shared a video with the word “rape” in it. So part of their message is “come to Taiwan because you won’t get raped”? You can watch the whole thing here.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

Like the New York-run account, Taiwan Tourism UK also has issues with using images without crediting sources. But the difference is they're picking irrelevant images. If we’re discussing Taiwanese cuisine, which of the four images below doesn’t belong? That’s right. The one of steak.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

Something else totally baffling is Taiwan’s official tourism office offering prizes of “GBP20 worth of ASOS vouchers”. What’s ASOS got to do with Taiwan? Nothing. ASOS is a fast fashion online store.

This new quiz concept started last Friday April 13 and entries were open for a week. There were zero entries.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

Perhaps they’re trying to make everyone forget that Taiwan is just “an industrial hub”? No wait, they say it right here.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

This one is particularly irritating. For a Lantern Festival promotion, they expected travelers to fill out the form below, attach evidence of their itinerary, email it to a gmail account, then visit a specific counter between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Lantern Festival in Chiayi County. Oh, with their passport. All to pick up this dog lantern.

Why didn’t this person think to show an image of the dog lantern with the post? You’re asking people to go to that much trouble and decide to entice them with this?

Credit: Tricky Taipei

Is director Hsieh actually reading the stuff his office is producing? Apparently not. And it’s not the Frankfurt office that’s behind it. Note the email in the account’s contact info section.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

Who is “Brighter Group”? Their website says: “We do travel PR, travel marketing, travel representation and everything in between – and, as our record shows, we do these really, really well.”

Taiwan is listed on their website as a client. The relationship goes all the way back to October 2012 when they won a “competitive six-way pitch”. Here’s the announcement.

Credit: Tricky Taipei

Hello, is anyone at Taiwan Tourism paying attention? Does this count as some of Brighter Group’s best work? Or is someone in the Frankfurt office responsible? I’m just saying it might be time for another competitive six-way pitch.

So again, my big questions for the Taiwan Tourism Bureau…

  • When was the last time (or first time!) you audited your marketing strategy?
  • What’s the vetting process for your vendors? Who writes the Requests For Proposals (RFPs)?
  • Are there content guidelines in place for marketing and social media posts for the overseas offices?
  • Who decides the people managing and creating content for the official social media accounts?
  • Who’s behind the @triptotaiwan Twitter account? Is it okay for this account to block followers (as happened to the author following a previous post)?
  • Finally, how much will you be spending this year to make Taiwan look so bad?

This article was originally posted on the blog Tricky Taipei. The News Lens has been authorized to republish this article, the original post can be viewed here.

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Editor: David Green