Tour Taiwan Years 2008-2009|
Establishing a Beautiful Taiwan
THIS YEAR AND THE NEXT ARE GOING TO BE YEARS YOU WANT TO TOUR TAIWAN! THE TOURISM BUREAU IS MAKING SURE THAT YOU WILL BE PRESENTED WITH THE BEST TRAVEL ENVIRONMENT AND THE BEST POSSIBLE TRAVEL CHOICES EVER ON THIS LOVELY ISLAND.
Many first-time visitors are surprised when they finally see Taiwan with their own eyes. "It's so mountainous! It's so green!" Can often be heard among tour groups which have ventured a bit out of the cities.
Slowly but steadily the world is recognizing Taiwan as an attractive travel destination in Asia. Despite stiff competition from her numerous neighbors, many of which are well-established tourist magnets, Taiwan has seen a significant increase in the number of visitors over the last few years, and this despite the declining number of business travelers. In the year 2000, 870,000 visitors came to Taiwan as tourists. Six years later the numbers grew to 1.51 million (an increase of 73%). During the same time period the percentage of tourists among all visitors rose from 33% to 43%. These numbers show that Taiwan is no longer a place visited only by people who want to do business, but has become a destination for international travelers coming for sightseeing, shopping, entertainment, relaxation, and more.
Taiwan is still one of the better-kept secrets in the world of travel and many in the West still have images of a heavily industrialized and overpopulated place in mind when the island is mentioned to them. While Taiwan certainly has her share of crowded, noisy, and sticky urban jungles, most parts of the land are in fact characterized by untouched nature and enchanting scenery. It usually takes just a short drive out of the city to leave all the nuisances of urban life behind and enter a world of verdant hills and scenic landscapes. A great deal of the Tourism Bureau's efforts over the coming two years will be about showing travelers who haven't been here before all the many beautiful sites of Taiwan, and changing any misconceptions they might have about this fine travel destination.
The Bureau has selected a number of "must-see" sites, "must-eat" specialties, and "must-buy" products in northern, central, southern, and eastern Taiwan that first-time visitors should definitely try out when visiting. In the north, for example, Taipei 101 , for the time being still the world's tallest building, and the National Palace Museum , one of the greatest museums in the world, sit atop the must-see list. Among the "must-eats" are little steamed dumplings , beef noodles , and mango ice , while new high-tech communications products, tea leaves, and pineapple cakes should be considered when shopping in northern Taiwan. (In the following articles you'll find more detailed introductions to these Taiwanese "must-sees," "must-eats," and "must-buys.")
Making Taiwan more beautiful, highlighting what is unique about this land, creating an even more visitor-friendly environment, ensuring high quality in all travel-related facilities and services, and intensifying promotional efforts abroad are the main tasks lying ahead of the Tourism Bureau in the near future. The overall goal is to make Taiwan a better place, a place where travelers can conveniently take in world-class sights, where they can travel in safety and comfort, where they are welcomed and served by friendly people, and where they will leave satisfied and hoping to come back again soon.