Industry, government and academia from over 15 economies gathered at the 2019 APEC Sports Cities Forum
By the Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, R.O.C. (Taiwan)
The Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, hosted the “2019 APEC Sports Cities Forum: International Events x Sports Innovations” on November 5 at the Howard Plaza Hotel in Taipei. The event combined Fun Sports in Taiwan: Results of 100+ Sports Events, APEC Sports Policy Network (ASPN) and SPIN Accelerator Taiwan forums. Representatives of Industry, government and academia from more than 15 economies were invited, with over 200 participants in attendance, to focus on the promotion of sports cities and sports innovations in different economies as well as the splendid outcome of the 100+ international sports events held in Taiwan in 2019.
Lin Teng-chiao, the Administrative Deputy Minister of Education, noted that sports tourism is the current global trend. As such, hosting international sports events with local features and combining them with innovative technology applications makes it possible to promote the development of sports tourism while also stimulating the local economy and industry, as well as enhancing the city’s image and profile on the international level.
Taiwan has hosted 137 international sports events in 2019, attracting more than 60,000 domestic and overseas athletes, 1 million onsite spectators, and 100 million global TV or online viewers. This year, the Sports Administration have also selected 12 featured sports events with distinctive local features and competitive strength, that are organized through close co-operations between local governments and sports associations, in order to create international sports events that highlight the Taiwan brand and its brand values, while also promoting sports tourism and enhancing the image of the nation’s cities.
One of the main focuses of this forum was to highlight and share the achievements of sports cities around the world. The event gathered representatives from domestic and overseas sports cities, including Melbourne, Australia; Fukuoka, Japan; Naga, the Philippines; Udon Thani, Thailand; Hòa Bình, Vietnam; Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Taitung and Penghu of Taiwan. Representatives from Taitung County Government brought with them a surfboard, inviting VIPs from home and abroad to attend the Taiwan Open of Surfing to be held from November 23 to December 6 in Chintsun, Taitung to spectate the event while also experience the unique local features and cuisines of Taitung.
Also, in line with the global rising trend of sports tourism, this event also invited senior officials and experts from Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and the U.S. to discuss issues of sports policies and city development. In addition, representatives from international sports organizations were also invited, including Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA), Sportcal and HYPE Sports Innovation (HYPE) to share issues related to international organizations and host cities.
In 2018, the Center of Industry Accelerator and Patent Strategy of National Chiao Tung University (IAPS) and HYPE signed a contract through ASPN to establish the first sports innovation accelerator in Asia. The two parties have also extended their partnerships through ASPN this year, and organized sports innovation technology panels and demo session at the 2019 APEC Sports Cities Forum by inviting global sports innovation experts and outstanding enterprise representatives to share views and experiences on sports city innovation ecology, international sports event technology applications and the latest trends on sports technology innovation.
The forum came to a successful conclusion with the support from all participants. A publication detailing the successes of the sports events in 2019 and a 2020 sports calendar were distributed at the forum to highlight and promote the success of the international sports events held in Taiwan. The Sports Administration will continue to provide assistance toward international sports development in Taiwan and establish communication bridges with international sports officials. The Sports Administration will also co-operates with local governments, sports event organizers, sports innovation startups and related industries to create a home advantage, in order to boost the local economy and industry, while also enhancing Taiwan’s city profiles on the global stage.