Sun, May 08, 2005 - Page 4 News List

High-speed rail begins in October


The Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has made Taiwan's high-speed rail service one of the focuses of a publicity drive this year with the first such train scheduled to begin operations in October.

The launch of the high-speed rail service will link Taipei and Kaohsiung in 90 minutes, greatly reducing the travel time over the 345km distance between the northern and southern cities.

Tourism officials said they have planned to make the nation's first high-speed rail service, the world's tallest skyscraper -- Taipei 101, and the Miramar Entertainment Park, which features a posh shopping mall and a spectacular ferris wheel in suburban Taipei, as part of their drive to attract foreign tourists under a "doubling tourist arrivals by 2008" project. The officials said that after the launch of the high-speed rail service, Taiwan will become even more attractive to tourists, with easy access to central and southern Taiwan.

The rail service will also work with the mass rapid transit, bus and train systems to produce an easy and comprehensive traffic network.

The Tourism Bureau has launched a publicity drive, mainly targeting tourists from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Europe and America. Foreign tourists made 2.95 million visits to Taiwan last year, and this year, the officials are targeting 3.25 million visits.

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