The Taipei City Government Department of Information and Tourism invited 30 travel writers, bloggers, journalists and tour agents from South Korea and mainland China for a three-day visit to the metropolis in an attempt to bolster local tourism.
“In 2011, more than 1 million mainland Chinese tourists and over 240,000 South Korean travelers visited Taiwan,” Chao Hsin-ping, commissioner of the department, said July 3. “We expect an additional 60,000 South Korean visitors this year, following the resumption of direct flights this April between Taipei Songshan Airport and Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport.”
Chao said the group members are spearheading the Fun Taipei independent tour package, set to be launched in South Korea and mainland China July 10. “Taipei, an aggregation of delicacies, culture, history, fashion and convenient transportation, along with its friendly, enthusiastic and high quality people, is a very suitable destination for solo tourists.”
The TCG has arranged for the guests to visit historical sites such as Mei Ting, the residence of renowned former Taiwanese politician and calligrapher Yu You-ren; Beitou Hot Spring Museum; the Beitou branch of the Taipei Public Library, a celebrated green building; and the 44 South Village, once a military dependents’ village.
Among the visitors is South Korean writer Yang So-hee, a huge fan of Taiwan. She has published four popular travel books since 2009 with three introducing Taipei, Taiwan and the nation’s cuisine, the TCG said, adding that Yang’s first book “Taiwan Holic” has become a standard Taiwan travel guide for Korean travelers.
In her books, Yang said Taipei is a city full of culture, freedom and energy, and that the people of Taipei are friendly and zealous. She especially likes the snacks of Taipei, tea in Maokong, the youth culture of Ximending, the hot springs in Beitou and the National Palace Museum.
Wu Fan from the Beijing Kuxun Travel Site said Taipei is a highly cultured city with good public order, friendly people and products at reasonable prices. “No matter how late people return home, they will not be robbed,” he said. “This feeling of safety cannot be found in many international cities.”
The group will stay in Taiwan from July 3 to 5, the TCG said.