Some foreign tourists participating in the Tourism Bureau’s matchup travel campaign yesterday said the tour had met their expectations, while others said the lack of interaction between tourists had made it difficult to make a connection.
Most of the 100 foreign tourists, hailing from 20 countries, said the two-day tour to Greater Tainan was well organized and fun-filled, but their opinions differed on whether the city lived up its moniker as a “destination for romance.”
Miho Konishi, a single Japanese in her early 30s, said the travel itinerary included a visit to the city’s four temples dedicated to the “old man of the moonlight.”
This man is believed to be the god for marriage and love, which was romantic enough, she added.
“Praying for love in a foreign land was new to me,” she said. “It was a romantic experience and allowed me to look into myself and open up for love.”
Bonnie Deng, from Hong Kong, said the tour, which included a walk through the city’s historic alleys and an evening party, was memorable and interesting.
Nevertheless, the 27-year-old said that she hoped the bureau would impose more “compulsory” measures so members of the opposite sex could interact more with one another.
“As girls we are shy to reach out to guys,” she said. “It would be great if the bureau assigned [us as] pairs and made us accomplish something together.”
Still other tourists, most of them male, said it was impossible to feel romantic on a tour, even though the unique cultural experience was an eye-opener.
“How can you feel romantic if you do not already have a girlfriend to travel with you?” said Simon Morris, a 28-year-old from the UK.
Meanwhile, Milagros Gonzalez from Honduras suggested that the city would be better off positioning itself as a historic place rather than a romantic place.
“[A] city like Paris is what I would call romantic,” the 22-year-old said.
“I don’t feel such ambiance here, especially during such a short and rushed trip,” he said.