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Canadian Travel Blogger
Taiwan rolls out modern tours for the savvy traveler
民視英語新聞 Taiwan News Formosa TV

Taiwan rolls out modern tours for the savvy traveler

Last year, a record-breaking 11 million international visitors came to Taiwan. It sounds like good news, but that statistic only tells half the story. More and more of Taiwan''s visitors hail from a wave of do-it-yourself, tech-savvy travelers seeking more value for their money. This means that average tourist spending is going down, and traditional sellers of package tours and hotel rooms are struggling to stay afloat in a saturated market. Many tour operators recognize a need for change in the current milieu. Some are taking brave steps to update what they offer to travelers. Tonight, we bring you on some exciting new tours that may herald a new era in tourism. Our Sunday special report.It’s just past 10 a.m. and Dongmen market in Taipei is buzzing with activity. Today an unusual little group is here, walking among the housewives who are doing their daily shopping.Lin Tsung-han Tour guideThis is an open area, and then, the indoor area. So we’re going to go to the market today. Lin Tsung-han is a chef by profession, but today he is a tour guide for a group of Taiwanese-American travelers. Chen I-ling and her family are back in Taiwan looking for a taste of grandma’s cooking.Voice of Chen I-lingTaiwanese-American touristSo I was born there and then every summer I come back and visit Ah Ma and like hang out and see Ah Gong.Chen LungTaiwanese-American touristAlthough the environment she grew up in was all Western and American food, she has always cherished her memories of Taiwan. She asked us whether we have any of Ah Ma’s old recipes. So we thought, on this trip, let’s put that on the to-do list.Lin Tsung-hanTour guideAt the market they were sampling the food and getting an understanding of the ingredients. They were also interacting with the people at the market. For example, on that stretch of road we passed by earlier, a lot of people were very enthusiastic and offered us fruit to try. Or like the herbal tea vendor. She gave us so many drinks it was crazy. That’s human warmth. That’s the culture of Taiwan, particularly its culture toward international visitors. That’s something many foreigners have told me. They feel that Taiwan and Taiwanese people are very welcoming and friendly. Herbal tea was a refreshing new experience for Chen I-ling. But today is not just about trying new things and getting ingredients. It’s also about cooking. What’s on the menu today is Taiwanese specialties like oyster omelet, braised cabbage and braised pork on rice.Michael WuTravel agency founderWe’re trying to capture the Taiwanese lifestyle and present it to international visitors. We take Taiwan’s culture and way of life and package it in a way that foreigners will understand.This four-hour tour of the market comes at a price tag of US$100 per person. The premium price does not put off visitors. In the past five years alone, 50,000 tourists hailing from 90 countries have taken part in the trips organized by this travel agency.This tour group of 38 members represents six nationalities. They have come to Taiwan for a bicycle trip around the island.William LouHong Kong touristWe have people came here three times. This is our third time. Some are new riders. Good food, good people. We love the country. The bicycle industry is very well developed and all the roads are well constructed for cyclists. And motor vehicles respect cyclists.Taiwan is one of the three biggest bicycle exporters in the world. The country prides itself on the Taiwan Cycle Route No. 1, which circumnavigates the entire main island. There is a wealth of cycling tours offered by bike manufacturers, which supply all the gear and equipment needed for a round-the-island adventure.It’s a new initiative called “bike-packing.” Tourists can take in the views and get up close and personal with local cultures, all on two wheels. Although bike-packing tours aren’t cheap, they have become a hit among foreign visitors. A campaign is underway at the Tourism Bureau to promote these offerings to the world.We are in Yehliu on the north coast of Taiwan. A group of journalists, travel agents and bloggers from Russia are here on invitation from the Tourism Bureau. They’re taking part in some of Taiwan’s newest itineraries.After a visit to the Yehliu geopark, the group goes on a shopping spree, sweeping up souvenirs in the nearby shops. At the end of their 12-day trip, they have only good things to say.Russian travel agentTake the average Russian. Most people don’t really know what Taiwan is. But once we come to Taiwan, we can see that Taiwan is an enchanting and beautiful place.Taiwan. It is home to East Asia’s tallest peak and seas on all four sides. It’s also a melting pot of cultures, including those of the Southern Min, Hakka, the indigenous peoples, and new immigrants. Amid big changes in the needs of tourists, operators are creating new itineraries and getting back to the ba...
High A Day


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