Kyoto Shimbun 2014.4.22 News

Roughly 2,000 Taiwanese Enjoy Hozu-gawa River Boat Ride
International Sales Increasing

More than 2,000 Taiwanese reserved a block of seats on the "Hozu-gawa River Boat Ride," sightseeing boats of Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture, at the same time. The first group enjoyed the rushing stream on April 22. According to the Hozugawa Yusen Sightseeing Boat Association, the group that manages the boat ride, this marks the largest group of travelers in the long history of their boating trips. Although there have been recent enhancements to attract foreign tourists, the association officials said, "We took reservations dubiously. We were very surprised to see this situation."

According to a travel agency, a major Taiwanese insurance company planned this incentive tour for employees with outstanding business performance. They were divided into three groups of approximately 700 people, and the second and third groups boarded on April 23 and 25, respectively. In the end, the numbers for the boarding parties were estimated to reach 2,220 people in total.

On the first day, the tourists arrived at the boarding point by motor coach, one after the other. The 729 passengers were divided into 31 groups to board. The sightseeing boat association also called out almost all of 130 boatmen. While enjoying the scenery at the boarding pier, the passengers excitedly said, "The Hozu-gawa River is beautiful." or "I am looking forward to boarding." On board, they excitedly took commemorative photos with the crew.

The number of tourists from overseas who board the Hozu-gawa River Boat Ride has increased, with a total of 18,300, accounting for roughly 10 percent of all passengers, last year. Among the tourists, the number of visitors from Taiwan was large, so the association's executives have been visiting local travel agencies as a tourism promotion campaign since last year.

The representative director of the sightseeing boat association said delightedly, "We have previously had a maximum of about 600 in a group for a school excursion. The enhancement of foreign sales has obtained excellent results for us."

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= A group of travelers from Taiwan set off downstream in a long string of boats (Hozu-cho, Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture)