TAIPEI — Taiwan is hoping to attract more visitors from Muslim countries as part of its expanding tourism campaign.
Eric Lin of Taiwan Tourism Bureau said they are undertaking steps to create a Muslim-friendly environment to allow Muslim visitors have a deeper experience of Taiwanese culture. Taoism is the dominant religion in Taiwan, a small country with a land area of 36,000 square kilometers and a population of 23 million.
“We try to let them know we are ready,” he told the Inquirer in a recent interview.
He said Muslim tourists are “quite a big market” in Asia so they are trying to offer more options for Islam-friendly establishments and food for travelers.
Official figures state that 10.7 million tourists visited Taiwan in the past year, with around 60 percent first-timers. The figures have consistently exceeded 10 million for three consecutive years. For this year, Lin estimates that closer to 11 million tourists will visit Taiwan.
“We offer very convenient travel for overseas travelers so they can get easily to Taiwan,” Lin said, adding that they no longer require tourist visas in some countries like the Philippines.
Lin said that Taiwanese people are “friendly” and they have a lot of tourist spots to offer: “Once you visit Taiwan, you can feel very relaxed in traveling around Taiwan. You can go out round the clock, no need to worry about your safety. And there’s no traffic, transportation is quite convenient.”
Part of their tourism efforts also include collaboration with cable network TLC Asia to promote Taiwan’s best destinations through Fun Taiwan, a long-running travel TV show.
“TLC works very hard to promote Taiwan. They promote everything Taiwan — resources, history, this country is quite different. We have very rich species of animals and plants…We would like to introduce Taiwan as a popular destination in Asia,” Lin said./ac