Thu, Dec 25, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Hualien hopes to draw crowds with tourism festival

PACIFIC PEARL The organizers hope tourists will come to enjoy the natural beauty and watch the first sunrise of the new year over the Pacific Ocean


The first Pacific International Tourism Festival, one of the largest tourism events to be held in Taiwan, aims to draw visitors from around the globe to Hualien County away from other Asian tourist spots, an event organizer said yesterday.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), who represents the county and is helping organize the event, said Hualien’s abundant natural beauty and the opportunity to witness the first sunrise of the new year over the Pacific Ocean were the festival’s highlights.

The organizers have targeted tourists from China, Europe and North America who plan to ring in the New Year in Asia, hoping to draw them to Hualien rather than Thailand or the Philippines, Fu said.

The festival, which begins tomorrow at the Meiluen Brewery (美崙酒廠) and runs through Jan. 4, will feature 189 stalls along the road leading to the brewery, Fu said, adding that this could improve the fortunes of local businesses.

One of the festival’s highlights will be a celebration on Saturday with live pop music and fireworks, attended by Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄).

The 10-day festival will also include performances of Hakka music and indigenous dance, along with Taiwanese and foreign pop stars and entertainers.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy light aircraft shows and military displays.

Several exhibitions will showcase a variety of domestically produced products ranging from alternative energy technology, weapons systems and motorbikes, to Aboriginal handicrafts.

Fu said that at a time when the nation is reeling from the global economic downturn, tourism remains one sector that can bolster the economy, which is why the Cabinet sponsored the 10-day festival with funds from several government agencies.

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