Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Commission to pay foreign volunteers to tour Taiwan

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Youth Commission is recruiting foreign volunteers from the ages of 18 to 30 to backpack and help promote international youth travel in the country.

The commission has recently finished establishing a youth travel services system in the country which includes a number of youth guesthouses, travel information centers, information cell phones, and youth travel discount cards.

These services were established with the aim of providing a safer and more convenient environment for international youth backpackers, said Lin Yu-ching (林禹青), an official involved in the project.

The commission has assembled a collection of recommended "youth travel products" organized by several government agencies including national footpaths, cycle paths, tours to farms, national parks, Aboriginal villages, townships, and railway tours.

It also recommends other attractions in the country including Taipei 101 and activities such as the Ilha Formosa Ghost Festival during the seventh lunar month.

Lin said that the goal of the recruitment project was to assess the travel environment in the country as well as the recommended products and the service system.

Volunteers will plan their own itineraries in accordance with the commission's recommendations and use guesthouses, information centers and information cell phones provided by the commission.

They will be asked to write travel blogs and to provide comments and advice that will be used by the commission as a reference for future improvements, Lin said.

The commission is recruiting 10 volunteers who will receive subsidies of NT$1,600 (US$50) per day, the international daily spending average of a backpacker, Lin said.

Full health and accident insurance would also be provided, she said.

The program lasts from July to December.

The volunteers must hold foreign passports, reside in Taiwan and should ideally have backpacking experience.

Application forms can be found at http://youthtravel.tw and the deadline is a week today.

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