TAIPEI, Taiwan – A Taiwanese-produced commercial featuring Japanese singer-actor Takuya Kimura was released in Japan Sunday, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau said, adding it hopes the campaign will help boost Japanese tourist numbers coming to Taiwan.
Thanks to a falling Japanese yen, the number of Japanese visitors to Taiwan reached 1,634,790 in 2014, one of a handful of countries that saw an increase in their tourists to Taiwan.
However, the number of Japanese tourists traveling to Taiwan for the first eight months of 2015 registered an annual decline of 4.4 percent, according to Wayne Liu, deputy director-general of the bureau.
Liu said he hopes that the screening of the new 60-second commercial and Kimura’s enormous popularity among the Japanese will help attract more people to Taiwan.
In the commercial shot in July, Kimura was shown having a good time in Taiwan, enjoying the country’s renowned xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings), mango ice, oolong tea and other gourmet food and attractions.
Experiencing various cultures is the most important part of traveling and tourism, Liu said.
Taiwan should be a top overseas destination for Japanese tourists because Taiwan has both a culture similar to that of Japan’s and a different atmosphere, he added.
Liu said he hopes that the scenes of Kimura tasting Taiwan’s food in the commercial will help stoke Japanese interest in the country.
Given Kimura’s strong fan base, the commercial is expected to boost the number of Japanese visitors to Taiwan and sales of tourism-related products for the rest of this year, Liu added.