Mon, Dec 29, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Taipei tops New York as place to be for New Year

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei has beaten New York, Paris and London in an online survey to become the world’s No. 6 spot to spend this New Year’s Eve, a survey by showed.

The survey results released by — one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites — on Dec. 17 showed that Taipei garnered 7.94 percent of votes from more than 7,000 respondents to the poll, beating New York (seventh, 7.26 percent), Paris (eighth, 5.35 percent), London (ninth, 4.11 percent) and Sydney (10th, 3.9 percent).

Taipei drew more than 1 million visitors during its New Year’s Eve festivities last year, with the largest number of overseas travelers visiting from Malaysia, China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Of the 24 global destinations, Bangkok was ranked as the most popular place to spend the holiday, earning 13.6 percent of the votes.

Hong Kong was second with 10.77 percent, followed by Bali (10.62 percent), Tokyo (9.45 percent) and Singapore (7.97 percent).

In contrast with 18 percent of respondents who chose friends as who they preferred to share New Year’s Eve with, 78 percent chose their family.

Most respondents said they preferred low-key celebrations to big parties, the survey found.

Just 27 percent of those surveyed said that they wanted to welcome the new year at a massive public event, such as Times Square’s ball drop, or the Taipei 101 countdown and fireworks show.

Taipei is set to see in 2015 with a nearly four-minute-long fireworks display during a show that blends Eastern and Western elements.

A total of 23,000 rounds of fireworks are to be lit at Taipei 101 at midnight on Thursday, according to Taipei Financial Center Corp (台北金融大樓公司), which operates the landmark.

Entitled “2015 iSee Taiwan” (iSee sounds like ai xi (愛惜), the Mandarin word for “cherish”), the show this year highlights healing, innovation and festivity, Taipei Financial Center spokesman Michael Liu (劉家豪) said.

In addition to colorful geometric figures, the display is to feature fan-like shapes that symbolize harmony in the East, Liu said.

He said the most difficult aspect of the fireworks display to design for this year’s show was one that circles the building and looks as if it is dancing.

The fireworks display is to be accompanied by Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons violin concertos combined with Taiwanese folk songs.

Aboriginal chants are also to be included, symbolizing racial and cultural harmony, serving as a prayer for the nation, Taipei Financial Center said.

The NT$38 million (US$1.19 million) show was designed by France’s Groupe F.

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