Taiwan the small island off the Chinese mainland has increased its budget to entice tourist around the world to experience its many highlights.
The former Formosa has seemingly struggled in the past to capitalise on the tourist dollar but in recent years the government tourism section has opened the purse strings and has a strategy in place to make the world aware of the many and diverse activities the country has to offer
Rich in history, the island was named by Portuguese sailors and called Lovely Island in Portuguese.
Taiwan boasts the eighth wonder of the world with the Taroko Gorge. The National Park of the same name is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan and was named after the gorge. The park spans Taichung Municipality, Nantou County, and Hualien County. The gorge is one of the countries’ most popular attractions.
Most capital cities have their monuments, robust history and outstanding achievements. Paris, New York, Rome and Sydney but Taipei the capital of the tiny island of Taiwan also has an impressive record for the fastest lift in the world but there is much more to its character than just a flash lift. The world’s fastest elevator system is in the Taipei 101 building which at the time of its construction in January 2004 held the title of the tallest building in the world. Depending on who you listen to it is now fourth behind Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Makk Royal Clock, Mecca and the One World Trade Centre in New York. The lifts still retain the Guinness Book of Records mantle as the fastest in the world. The dual high speed lifts were installed by Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems (Japan) and have a maximum speed of 1,010 m/min (3,313 ft/min), equivalent to 60.6 km/h (37.6 mph). They take just 40 seconds from ground level to the 89th floor, situated at 382 m (1,253 ft), and have atmospheric pressure regulatory systems to avoid discomfort (ears ‘popping’) for the occupants.
Taiwan is locked into tourism mode. It is shedding or winding down some of its popular money spinning industries to crank up tourism visitation from around the globe.
Tobacco growing, agriculture and other associated industries have been sacrificed so as the majority of the workforce of the 23 million population can concentrate on tourism. It is a bold move but projections suggest that the country will have 15 million visitors by the end of this year.
Taiwan has transformed itself from a recipient of U.S. aid in the 1950s and early 60s to an aid donor and significant foreign investor with investments primarily based in Asia. Private Taiwanese investment ranks as 18th in the world by gross domestic product (GDP).
Industries are steadily being moved off-shore and replaced with more capital and technology intensive industries. Taiwan’s IT expertise is now crucial for the country’s economy and the rest of the world’s computer and electronic well-being. The design and manufacture of electronic components and personal computers are estimated to total in excess of US$150 billion.
Taiwan is a haven for foodies, sightseers, spa and massage aficionados and travellers who want to have a relaxing and enjoyable trip throughout the island and mix with the very helpful and friendly locals. It doesn’t have a sexy reputation like a lot of its Asian neighbours but it is certainly a country that has emerged and is growing daily in sophistication and popularity.
Written by John Savage