TAIPEI: The year of 2018 has been designated as the Year of Bay Tourism. Six cities and counties and 10 islands with island resources have been designated as pilot sites. Among those designated are three islands in Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago: Qimei, Yuweng and Jibe. The goal of the program is to encourage tourists to explore Taiwan’s 10 major islands, develop island eco-tourism, and spread appreciation and awareness among locals and tourists about protecting marine ecology.
Going ahead, there will be an increasing emphasis on the sustainable development of tourism resources, that the bay tourism image will grow, and that the market will mature. This will also strengthen the promotion of tourism in southern Taiwan (regional tourism), rejuvenate the national tourism development plan and spread awareness about clean ecological activities in Penghu Bays. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, along with the Penghu County Government, jointly held a press conference to announce this recently. The conference started with the sea waste action drama to awaken people to the problem of marine pollution. Minister of Transportation and Communications Mr. Ho Chen Tan and others led the staff to participate in making a declaration to promote the sustainable development of bay tourism.
Tourism Bureau Director-General Joe Y. Chou said that the overall marketing of the 2018 Year of Bay Tourism will follow three major themes: “Good Seasonal Events Highlights” (activities side), “Wonderful Tour GO Experience” (products side) and “Continuous Promotions” (promotional side). Through efforts such as creating a sightseeing resources inventory, integrating of local industries, packaging tourism products, developing peripheral products, marketing domestically and overseas, and developing source markets, we hope to stimulate the development of the entire industry, create interesting tourism topics, and stimulate tourist participation, thus further energizing the development of the overall tourism industry.
This campaign emphasizes key concepts in bay tourism, such as “Advocacy of Education, Resource Conservation, In-depth Experience, and Inheritance of Experiences.” It combines the resources of various national scenic area administrations and local administrations to improve the tourism environment in bays, improve the quality of software and hardware facilities and services, and enrich the image of bay tourism.
In 2018, Penghu will host a major event – the 14th annual meeting of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club. The Penghu County Government recently led a delegation to attend the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club’s meeting on April 17 in Vannes, in the Brittany region of France. The meeting celebrated the 20th anniversary and the 13th annual meeting of the Club. At the same time, the delegation promoted Penghu Bay tourism.
The Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Penghu County Government worked together through the Year of Bay Tourism to expand further within the European tourism market to promote tourism in Taiwan. Minister Ho Chen and the Legislative Yuan’s Transport Committee expressed strong support to the Penghu County Government for organizing the World’s Most Beautiful Bays carnival from September to October, the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club’s world annual conference, the Global Bays and Harbor Cities Expo, the International Forum on Marine Environment and Climate Change, the Global Cities Forum and various other activities. At least 38 bay members and 40 cities will participate in these events.
It is expected that the number of tourists will increase by 30,000 and that the event will add further lustre to the 2018 Year of Bay Tourism. Director Fang of the Penghu National Scenic Area Administration said that Penghu County has rich ecological and cultural landscapes, marine culture and special natural landscape resources. He added that the preservation of the marine environment and ecology have become even more important issues. In order to implement the concept of prioritizing the environment, the Administration has created a quality tourism environment focused on “new and fresh tourism spots” and “clean coastlines”.
Each year, it will continue to clean the environment of beaches near tourist attractions using public-private partnerships. In order to address the problem of marine litter, the Penghu County Government will focus on the four areas of clean beaches, clean sea, source reduction, and environmental education in order to closely align with the main themes of the annual bay conference: “marine ecology and environment, and local economic development and sustainable tourism”.