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Taiwan’s tourism promotion efforts are winning international attention. The prominent travel guidebook, Lonely Planet, and its extended family of travelers, bloggers and tweeters recommend Taiwan as one of the top 10 countries for travel in 2012. On its official website, Lonely Planet describes the island this way: “Taiwan has always had a jaw-dropping landscape – oversized sea cliffs and densely forested mountains barely start to describe its majesty. And then there’s the museums, which are simply bursting with treasures (including the best of imperial China, spirited across the strait after WWII), plus a thriving folk culture that includes some wild displays of Taoist and Buddhist worship. In terms of cuisine, Taiwan is a fusion and slow-food showcase. So why is 2012 the time to visit? Because Taiwan is best seen on two wheels and in recent years the authorities have embraced the biking market with surprising enthusiasm, vision and (most importantly) funding. This year sees the linking of thousands of kilometers of paths, including two round-the-island routes, and a host of other cycling friendly infrastructure projects”.
For the past two years the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has been implementing the “Project Vanguard for Excellence in Tourism” as its core strategy for tourism industry development. The Project divides Taiwan into six regions with distinguishing features and separate promotional themes: Living Taiwan, Enterprising Taiwan, Historical Taiwan, Leisurely Living Taiwan, Unique Islands Taiwan, and Diverse Taiwan. The Tourism Bureau is also marketing Taiwan, in line with the celebration of the Republic of China’s 100th founding anniversary, with a campaign entitled “Tour Taiwan and Experience the Centennial”. Tourism resources are arranged into tour packages focused on ten elements: folk religious customs, local culture, indigenous tribal areas, hot springs, innovation, modern culture, mountain climbing and healthy activities, celebrity chasing, eco-tourism, and bicycle travel. In this early spring, the Bureau rebranded Taiwan tourism with a new international marketing logo “Taiwan—The Heart of Asia” and new slogan “Time for Taiwan”. The new brand was given a boost with the production and airing of a fresh promotional film “Time for Taiwan—My Beautiful Island”. These promotional efforts are now bearing fruit in the international market.
In addition to such major tourism events as the Taiwan Lantern Festival, Taiwan Culinary Exhibition, and Taiwan’s Hot Spring Fine-Cuisine Carnival, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau also held the 2011 Taiwan Cycling Festival on Nov. 5-13. This combination of the Taiwan Cup race together with tour itineraries has become a new and powerful tool for tourism promotion, attracting domestic and international tourists not only to enjoy bicycle riding but to explore the natural beauties of Taiwan at the same time. As the Lonely Planet noted, Taiwan is focusing on promoting green tourism through the vigorous marketing of cycling tours. Furthermore, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has introduced numerous incentive packages and other promotional activities for international tourists. For example, 120 businesses in 17 hot-spring areas were organized to publish the “2011 Taiwan Hot Spring Fine-Cuisine Passport” (with validity from Oct. 15, 2011 to Jan. 15, 2012) to attract tourists to enjoy the island’s hot springs and local cuisine.
What are you waiting for? 2012 is “Time for Taiwan”, the time for everyone to come and experience the island’s diverse tourism attractions. Please visit http://taiwan.net.tw for more useful information.