Fri, Sep 16, 2011 - Page 2 News List

New tourism passport unveiled

MORE INFORMATION:Aside from the coupons offered by various stores in the south of the country, the passport also introduces 100 ‘must-see’ tourist attractions

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

People planning to travel in the south of the country can now take advantage of the Southern Taiwan Tourism Passport, issued by the Executive Yuan.

Lwo Shih-hsiung (羅世雄), executive director of the Executive Yuan’s Southern Taiwan Joint Services Center, said the passport consolidates tourism information for visitors to the south.

“In the past, visitors were given tourism passports issued by different counties and they ended up having five or six passports,” Lwo told a press conference. “We decided to combine all the information so that visitors have just one passport.”

Aside from the coupons offered by various stores in Chiayi, Greater Tainan, Greater Kaohsiung, Pingtung and Penghu, Lwo said the passport also introduces 100 tourist attractions in the south.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said at the press conference that the nation should strive to present its culture and history to foreign visitors traveling in Taiwan. As an example, Ma cited Sheng Kuang-wen (沈光文) who was credited by some as the “Confucius” of Taiwan, adding that he is worshiped at the Ching-An Temple (慶安宮) in Shanhua (善化), Greater Tainan.

Ma said Sheng, a native of China’s Zhejiang Province, was a Ming Dynasty academic. When he was traveling to Quanzhou, Fujian Province, a storm blew his boat to Taiwan. He eventually settled in Taiwan and devoted himself to the education of the Taiwanese people, Ma said, adding that Sheng could be worshipped at the Confucious Temple in Greater Tainan.

“If we can incorporate this type of story into an introduction of a certain place, we can increase the depth of our tourism and attract more visitors,” Ma said.

The Southern Taiwan Tourism Passport is available free of charge at Taiwan Railway Administration stations and high-speed rail stations. They can also be downloaded from www.eysc.ey.gov.tw.

In related news, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday that the nation’s historical railways had drawn 51 rail enthusiasts from the UK, Australia and Japan to visit last week.

The bureau said the group had traveled on the Pingsi Line (平溪線), the Taroko Express and the high-speed rail. Today, they are scheduled to take a trip on the Jiji Line (集集線) aboard a train pulled by a CK-124 locomotive. They are also planning to visit a fan-shaped train depot in Changhwa City.

The bureau said one of the members of the group, 75-year-old Australian Alison Shillington, had been shocked to find her father’s name, Walter Reginald Locke, on the Prisoner of War Memorial Wall when the group visited Jinguashi (金瓜石), New Taipei City (新北市), last week.

Locke was captured by Japanese troops in Singapore and was later interned in Taiwan between 1942 and 1944, the bureau said.

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