Taiwan possesses a diversity of natural landscapes and an abundance of orchids. Here, orchids have been cultivated for 100 years. Over the past more than two decades, the orchid industry has developed, producing numerous and diverse varieties. Due to these factors, Taiwan’s export-oriented orchid industry has become a major supplier to the world orchid market. According to agricultural trade statistics of the Council of Agriculture (COA), Taiwan’s flower export sales reached US$94.46 million in the first half of 2020. Orchids made up 75% of that total, equivalent to US$70.96 million. During that same period, export sales of butterfly orchids reached US$63.08 million or 66.8% of all Taiwan flower export sales. These statistics reveal the widespread appeal of Taiwan’s superior quality orchids.
With guidance from the COA and following the 8th Asia Pacific Orchid Conference (APOC) in 2004, the Taiwan International Orchid Show (TIOS) has been held annually at the Taiwan Orchid Plantation. Due to the abundant international exhibition planning and organizing experience of the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association, TIOS has received consistently high praise. Unfortunately, the 2020 TIOS had to be cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. However, in 2019, there were 210,000 visitors from 43 countries and orchid growers received orders totaling NT$11.31 billion in addition to increased domestic and international exposure.
TIOS is a stage with great potential to function as a platform. It is also a major event in the global orchid industry. Intra-industry and inter-industry collaborations are encouraged to drive industry clusters, to elevate international competitiveness and prestige, and to present Taiwan’s orchid industry soft power. TIOS also serves to highlight Taiwan as a global leader that is guiding the way to a new era for the orchid industry.
To expand the benefits of the 2021 TIOS it was necessary to integrate the industry’s strengths and make appropriate use of resources. Through landscape design and high-quality orchid competitions, the extraordinary achievements of Taiwan’s orchid industry are to be presented. Moreover, by integrating orchids, arts and culture, life esthetics are expected to be elevated. Additionally, Taiwan will be promoted as a tourism destination and as an “orchid kingdom”.
2.Overview of TIOS
The annual TIOS is a specialized orchid exhibition. Due to many years of hard work, it has earned a place of importance in the global orchid industry, becoming one of the three major orchid exhibitions, along with the World Orchid Conference and APOC. Every year, it attracts more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world, revealing its success as an international large-scale professional orchid marketing and sales platform.
Following very positive reviews of the 8th APOC, the COA and the then Tainan County Government (currently the Tainan City Government) decided to establish a flagship exhibition that incorporates local features. TIOS was launched by this association in 2005 to complement the formal opening of the Taiwan Orchid Plantation. It attracts buyers from various countries, benefitting Taiwan’s orchid producers in terms of international marketing. Exhibitors receive large numbers of overseas orders, revealing its importance to orchid industry members. In 2007, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) began serving as co-organizer. In this capacity, it has invited major international buyers leading to even more international orders. TIOS has developed into a valued transaction platform, providing access for domestic and foreign flower industry members to Taiwan’s orchid industry and creating an international fair-trade market. As an example of its importance, even with the financial tsunami in 2008, sales of butterfly orchids grew 5.3%
To date, TIOS has brought international exposure and buyers from all over the world to Taiwan, resulting in large numbers of overseas orders for exhibitors. In addition, this exhibition has successfully opened Taiwan’s orchid market to the world and bolstered the image of Taiwan as an important orchid production base.
Table 1. 2005-2019 statistics for the Taiwan International Orchid Show