Thanks to a popular film and a TV show shot in Kenting (墾丁), the beach resort area in Pingtung County at the nation’s southernmost tip is attracting a record number of tourists from Hong Kong, local hoteliers said.
The hoteliers said the movie Cape No. 7 and TV teenage idol soap opera Wayward Kenting appear to have helped bring in more visitors from Hong Kong in recent months, with many college and senior high school students visiting the local beaches in groups of three or four.
“In addition to backpackers, the number of tourists arriving as families and those traveling on ecological and in-depth tours from Hong Kong has also increased since late last year,” said Apple Sun (孫家泓), who is in charge of public relations at the Howard Beach Resort Kenting hotel.
She said this was a result of information about Kenting’s natural scenery that was widely disseminated on the Internet, on Hong Kong TV channels and in local magazines.
Cantonese, rather than Japanese, is now the foreign language most often heard on Kenting’s streets, local hoteliers said.
Much of Cape No. 7 — the bestselling Taiwanese movie in history — was filmed at the Chateau Beach Resort.
Kuo Shih-he (郭世和), a public relations employee at the Chateau Beach Resort, said “the number of Hong Kong tourists staying at the hotel so far this year has grown by about 30 percent over the same period of last year, while the 2008 number was some 30 percent higher than the 2007 level.”
Staff at two other hotels in the area — the Howard Beach Resort Kenting and the Caesar Park Hotel Kenting — have also noticed the effect Cape No. 7 has had on room occupancy.
More Singaporean tourists have also been drawn to Kenting, they said.
Visitors from Hong Kong and Singapore are usually also interested in buying local specialty foods as gift items for relatives and friends at home.