Taiwan is a beautiful island country layered with the heritage of Taiwanese aboriginals, Dutch, Spanish and Chinese in a beautiful cultural amalgam of sorts. Endowed with magnificent peaks, green rolling hills, plains, basins, coastlines, lush forests and national parks, it is also a nature lover’s paradise.

At the backdrop of the Arabian Travel Market, the Arabian Gazette team caught up with Dr. Trust H.J. Lin, Director of Taiwan Visitors Association, who was here in the UAE to promote his country in the Middle East region.  Here are the excerpts of the interview.

Why do you think Taiwan is a preferred destination for international travelers?

I would like to quote from the international media like Travel & Leisure – The Editor’s Choice – They have rated Taiwan as one of the top 10 destinations to travel, in Asia. The same publication recently did a survey for expats who picked Taiwan as the no 1 country – for medical care, safety, beautiful nature and pastoral city life.

What are the top destinations for travel in Taiwan?

Basically, Taiwan is a big island full of surprises. It’s hard to say what are the top locations. However, so far we have seen great interest in Taipei – the capital city among international travellers who visit Taiwan. In addition, many go to Taroko for the nature. Some to Yunshan, and others to the east coast.

How many international visitors does Taiwan receive every year?

Last year Taiwan welcomed more than 10 million international visitors in the country.

How important is the UAE market to Taiwan?

We consider the UAE market as diamond and we are seeing a growth trend, so we are investing in this region. We see it as an ideal place for us to start, before moving to the other regions in the GCC.

What special initiatives is the ministry of tourism taking to attract travellers from the Middle east region?

For the middle east market particularly for people from the GCC we are right now providing the easy visa or e-visa facility. It has made getting visa simpler than before. Apart from that we have partnered with various airlines for the benefit of our travellers from the region. Also we work closely with our PR consultants in the region to make Taiwan an easily accessible and well known destination.

Can you comment on Taiwan’s Halal Tourism offering?

The middle east market is a Muslim market and right now Taiwan is building a Muslim friendly environment for visitors not just from this region but from other parts of the world. Every year, we see a lot of Malaysian tourists coming to Taiwan and most of these travellers are Muslims. Taiwan is proud to be voted as one of the most Muslim friendly country in Asia and we’ve got the halal certification from the halal board too. Many of our restaurants and hotels provide halal food.

What travel trends are you seeing from travellers in the region?

We’ve seen that middle east travellers go to Taiwan as a family group. Therefore, the key is to attract the prime member of the family to visit Taiwan.  We have special incentives for MICE travellers and for the past few days we had two functions focussed on MICE, as well. We are hoping people will first travel for business and make a second trip, along with their families.

To know more about Taiwan visit : http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/

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