Seven companies from Asia came to Taiwan in September for a chance to win NT$1.5 million (US$50,000) worth of MICE tourism package on the Asia Super Team: The Almighty Player competition.
Launched under MEET Taiwan, a MICE promotion programme sponsored by the Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade and implemented by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), Asia Super Team is an annual business contest that invites corporate participants to explore the country's various incentive attractions.
For the first time this year, gamification elements were introduced. After an interactive online segment, the top seven teams from Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong were invited to the finals in Taiwan.
Inspired by popular Taiwan reality game shows, the offline element of the competition took place over five days and put participants through five different challenges: flexibility, agility, cooperation, creativity and intelligence.
Tasks revolved around Taiwan's incentive destinations, and included putting on a puppet show at a traditional puppet museum in Yunlin in western Taiwan; brewing coffee at Gukeng, famous for its coffee beans; learning about the rich history behind the Osmanthus Alley Artist Village in Changhua county; and getting up close and personal with bees - a task that was not for the faint-hearted - at a honey museum.
The 'Cooperation' challenge proved to be the highlight of the journey as teams headed to the 'Haha Fishing Village' in the picturesque Lukang in Changhua county. After putting on fishing overalls and boots, they stood knee-deep in the waters in an attempt to collect the most number of flying fishes in their nets, and used their bare fingers to dig into the gritty sand to pick out clams.
Competition aside, participants were also treated to local delicacies such as pig intestines, fried oysters and braised pork during mealtimes. They also experienced the warm hospitality of the Taiwanese during their stays at the design-driven AMBA Taipei Songshan hotel, the luxurious The Lin Hotel Taichung and the renowned five-star hotel Grand Hyatt Taipei.
For the final activity, participants wore costumes that reflected their countries and companies and put on a short performance for the media and VIPs present at the press conference, which took place at the Taipei International Convention Centre.
The team from PATHUM THANI BREWERY Co, Ltd, Thailand emerged as the winners, taking home the grand prize of NT$1.5 million (US$50,000) worth of MICE tourism package for 20 persons (inclusive of flight tickets).
Since its launch in 2014, the Asia Super Team international enterprise contest has been recognised as Most Effective Incentive Marketing Campaign by SITE in 2015, and B-to-B Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Stevie Awards.
Of the country's emphasis on MICE (estimated to be worth about US$2 billion), Walter Yeh, executive vice president of TAITRA, who was at the press conference said, "Incentive travel is the focus of our future."
"In the past, Taiwan focused more on manufacturing industries, now we are promoting more incentive travel services and via cooperation with Asian countries."