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Taiwan Needs to Expose its Tourist Destinations Better

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When people think of coming to Asia for travel they seldom think of Taiwan. Aside from the fact that most people confuse the place with Thailand due to the “Thai” pronunciation used at the beginning of both places, many people simply do not know where Taiwan is or what it is all about. Everyone knows China and Japan for their cultures, Thailand for its Bangkok debauchery, Bali for its Paradise-like surroundings and India for spiritual things. But what about Taiwan?

The island is actually filled with lots of mountains and rivers for exploring, with several of the mountains including Yushan ranking as the highest mountains in East Asia. The white water rafting is limited but the amount of shallow rivers actually makes for great conditions for an increasingly popular sport called River Trekking. This sort of activity is popular among Taiwanese and could attract many visitors provided Taiwan was promoted as such.

For better or worse, most travelers in Taiwan know of the place for its food and not its landscape. Most of the travelers going to Taiwan are from China and Japan, which is significant in the amounts of revenues generated from these two areas but not in terms of diversity. China knows Taiwan as a so-called part of China, with new laws back around 2010 enabling more Chinese tourists to enter the island and Japan for its history with governing the island from 1895-1945. Western tourists are comparatively much smaller in size while other Southeast Asia nations tend to skip over Taiwan, favoring more popular beach and cultural destinations.

Taiwan is not struggling tourist wise due to its popularity with the Mainland but overall its international scope is very limited. Taiwan should promote itself as a type of All-in-One type package, offering modernity, beautiful beaches in the south and mountains in the central areas that provide travelers with everything they are looking for. These aspects coupled with great food ranging from stir-fry, hot pot, mango ice and a wide variety of Japanese restaurants in addition to cheap and reliable transportation make Taiwan a welcoming place.

Taiwan’s transportation alone is a major reason to come. Due to cheap taxi prices that start at around US$2.30 and increase by US$0.20 per 0.5km you can get to most places within US$5-7. Otherwise, there are a wide variety of subway or MRT stations that can take you everywhere for about US$1 a ride. They are also extremely safe and clean, and in fact have been ranked among the nicest subways in the world. There are also a variety of trains running across the island and even a great high-speed rail that is on par with Japan’s well-known rail system.

The island is known for its convenience among locals so the tourism bureau could also advertise it as such, showing how easy it is to get from point A to point B and how cheaply this can be done. The bureau can also team up with a host of food chains and restaurants to display some of Taiwan’s most well known goodies in addition to all the hotspot travel points the country has to offer. This could be done at travel shows, and various traveling shows translate into English that are distributed across the globe. With a little bit of effort Taiwan could see its diversity in tourism grow quite a bit.

Overall, we recommend looking into travel spots such as Yushan and Alishan for the mountain traveler type, Kenting for the beach sporting type, Yilan for the surfer type and Taipei for the hustle and bustle type. There are many good spots surrounding Taipei as well such as Maokong, 千島湖, Shenkeng and Pinglin that offer some very scenic areas as well as an assortment of tea and snacks, all of which can be easily accessed by bus and within 20 minutes of the city.

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