Search This Blog

Leak takes wind out of tourism bureau surprise

Leak takes wind out of tourism bureau surprise

OUT: The bureau had hoped to keep the name of its new spokesperson for Southeast Asia secret until today, but a leak ended the suspense. And the winner is ...

By Shelley Shan
STAFF REPORTER
Thursday, 21 June 2007, Page 2

"It is going to be a male entertainer and a female singer. I promise it will be a huge surprise!"
- Janice Lai, Tourism Bureau director-general

When Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai was asked two weeks ago who would replace pop diva Chang Huei-mei, or A-mei, as the new spokesperson to help draw tourists from Southeast Asia, Lai chose to remain silent.

"Allow me to keep it a secret for now," she told reporters at the time. "Let me just say that it is going to be a male entertainer and a female singer. I promise it will be a huge surprise!"

But what was meant to be a surprise turned into an unexpected cat-out-of-bag incident. Lai was upset yesterday to find out that local media had unveiled the "secret" before she did.

A report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday said that Jolin Tsai, who won the Golden Melody Award for best female Mandarin pop singer last week, has been selected to be the bureau's new tourism spokesperson in Southeast Asia.

The report also mentioned that Tsai and film director Wu Nien-jen, another new spokesperson, would participate in promotional events and activities organized by the Tourism Bureau.

It also said that the bureau would pay Tsai NT$8 million (US$242,400) per year for the deal.

The bureau's contract with A-mei ended this year. During the past three years, the diva participated in tourism-related promotional events in Southeast Asia, from meeting with fans to leading them on an around-the-nation tour.

The momentum A-mei generated encouraged the Tourism Bureau to consider choosing another popular singer to be the new spokesperson this year.

Lai ordered her staff yesterday to investigate the leak and find out why the news was released to the media before the scheduled date, which was today.

The incident was reminiscent of the Golden Melody Awards' problems, as both events have had their lists of winners leaked to the media before the organizer could make an official announcement.

To increase tourism each year, the bureau has recruited popular idols as part of tourism promotion package. Last week, it announced that the boy-band F4 had become the bureau's emissaries in Japan and South Korea.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2007/06/21/2003366164

No comments: