The success of the movie Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (彩虹戰士:賽德克巴萊) has spurred interest in tourism to the east coast where there are more than 40 Amis Aboriginal communities, the Tourism Bureau said.
Even though the movie is about the Sediq tribe in central Taiwan that revolted against Japanese rule in 1930, the story has revived interest in the nation’s Aboriginal cultures, the bureau’s administrative office for the East Coast National Scenic Area said recently.
In an effort to take advantage of the buzz and promote tourism in the less developed eastern part of the country, the office said it is sending staff members to spend time with the tribes, experience their culture and come up with fresh tourism ideas.
“We would like to take this opportunity to rethink our approach and make the rural tours more appealing to modern travelers,” east coast office deputy director Lin Wei-ling said.
For example, in a brainstorming session with the Marongarong tribe in Taitung County, Lin said she and a tribe member, Akila, realized they could minimize disruption to the tribe’s way of life by providing tourists with bicycles to explore the area.
As for sleeping arrangements, “if visitors find it difficult to sleep on our hard bamboo beds, then we can provide them with a spring mattress,” Akila said after the session.
The partnership between the tourism authorities and Aboriginal communities seemed ideal, according to Omi Wilang, -secretary-general of the Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan, which is devoted to protecting Aboriginal rights.
However, he cautioned that the effects of commercial activity and increased tourism would have to be carefully monitored to minimize any negative effects.
“The last thing we want is to invite business conglomerates to exploit the virgin land,” he said. “We also don’t want to see a small tribal area hosting five or six entertainment facilities such as karaoke clubs.”