Local government chiefs from Ilan, Hualien and Taitung counties yesterday jointly introduced a one-month tourism program highlighting the attractions on the nation’s 200km east coast.
Called the “Eastern Taiwan Sustainable Development Fair,” the program runs from today through Jan. 4, Executive Yuan Spokeswoman Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said, describing the project as a model of cooperation between the central and local governments.
Starting from Ilan Railway Station in the north to Taitung Railway Station, the trip through the East Rift Valley covers nine railway stops leading to 39 tourist spots.
With the aid of NT$10.45 billion (US$ 311.4 million) in investments, organic rice and vegetable farming in the area has spread to 500 hectares while 7,000 hectares of flowers were planted to increase the region’s attractions, Council for Economic Planning and Development Vice Chairman San Gee (單驥) told a press conference.
A total of 76 projects, including community empowerment, establishing Aboriginal cultural parks and a deep ocean water research station, were launched in line with the government’s goal to promote sustainable development of eastern Taiwan, he said.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Taiwan Railway Administration, co-sponsors of the event, will offer different types of travel cards for unlimited use on shuttle buses between attractions and the nine railway stations and trains during the monthlong activity.
Hualien County Commissioner Hsieh Shen-san (謝深山) said not only can travelers in Hualien marvel at the county’s beautiful natural scenery, but also experience its rich history.