Lion Travel & Advanced Leadership Seminar: The Close Encounter of Taiwan Tourism Giant and NTU Students

By Liao Ying-Chi, LDP Cycle 3, senior, Dept. of Psychology

 Advanced Leadership Seminar has always been one of the most special courses by LDP, NTU. Via the mentor and small-class system, students are able to have in-depth interactions and discussions with the professors. In Advanced Leadership Seminar, Fall 2012, Prof. Wu Hsueh-Liang made special arrangements for Mr. Chen, the vice president of Lion Travel, to instruct NTU students, who are accustomed to the comfortable study environment on campus, to learn more about the tourism industry

We were amazed as we first met Mr. Chen. He has always been friendly to students, energetic like a college student himself and enthusiastic about just everything. Maybe because he is very experienced in university-industry cooperation, he always answers precisely to students’ questions. This time, the research project required us to design a creative and practical contest on tourism innovation.Though getting away from repeated daily routines is a common liking shared by many, and not to mention taking trips to exotic lands is always fascinating, planning and designing a contest on tourism was an unfamiliar task to us as we had spent most of our time on books and papers. In order to make the contest and the proposals within it practical and be in line with the current state of the industry, the three groups of us did an abundant research and review on tourism issues. After the brainstorms, we headed to the headquarters of Lion Travel in Nei-Hu, and had a further discussion with Mr. Chen. The headquarters of Lion Travel quite renewed our impression on conventional travel service offices which are rather small, crowded and chessboard-like. The office was instead open-spaced and graceful with various recreational materials provided in the recreational area, allowing the employees to fully relax themselves during their breaks. The meeting rooms were divided by glass walls, on which prints of markers could be found as creativity took place. Perhaps it was such working environment that Lion Travel is able to remain its leading position in the competitive industry.

Vice president Chen, his assistant Kathleen, Professor Wu and his wife were the judges at our presentations. The three groups went all out on their respective themes and proposals. The first group’s theme was “Zero-cost Travel x Taiwan Promotion.” By giving the example of the latest hot issue: san-tai-zi (the third prince) travelling around the world, they brought up a project idea via which creative thinkers could fulfill their dreams of traveling. “If a group of innovative travelers will help promote certain corporations, the corporations might as well patronize them for the tour in return.” The idea suggested the contest organizer act as a medium from which companies recruit talents and talents attract companies, resulting zero-cost travels and the beauty of Taiwan will additionally be promoted.

The second group focused on the 2017 Taipei Universiade, planning to create a wave of tourism business opportunities via the event. The Universiade, known as the “The Miniature Olympics,” is an athletic event second only to the Olympic Games. It is also going to be the most honorable athletic event held by Taiwan ever. To increase its topicality among students, to make use of its positive social effects and to make up the possible economic deficit, the second group’s project was “Taipei Universiade— Taiwan Travel Attraction Design Contest,” in which the contestants will choose a Universiade participating country and organize a three-day post-game trip around Taiwan for its athletes and staff. Through the contest, tourism-relevant talents can be discovered, whereas through the projects within, the local and regional vision will go global. Furthermore, a fad of travelling to and in Taiwan will be created.

The last group, on the other hand, noticed that many local cultures were on the brink of disappearing due to modernization. Hence, their contest proposal “Light Up Taiwan—Year 101 Unfolds Yesterday” ultimately aimed to preserve Taiwan stories by organizing the contest. They took the declined Taiwan El Dorado—Jin Gua Shi—for example. In the past, it was the Taiwan Ginza because of the gold-mining fever. Now, it is almost forgotten because of the decline of the industry. Culturally speaking, it is even about to disappear. If the contest proves effective in solving such issue, it may not only slow down our destruction to the environment and cultural heritages but also reverse our concept towards traditional tourism. A finer and more caring tourism product may thus be presented.

Concerning our somewhat primitive proposals, the vice president and the teacher nonetheless gave us a lot of positive feedbacks and encouragement, complimenting on our efforts. We felt extremely lucky and thankful for the vice president, Kathleen and the professor for their guidance and time. Regardless of the remarks on the three groups’ performances, we were glad to have gone out of our comfort zone once again to acquaint ourselves with unfamiliar industry. Perhaps none of us will enter the industry. Perhaps we won’t have another chance to explore the tourism industry. However, we have learned to show respect for an unfamiliar field and to modestly study what we were not privileged to before.