Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Counties hoping for Tropic of Cancer tourism boost

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan hopes to turn its location on the Tropic of Cancer into a magnet that draws tourists with diverse interests, the Tourism Bureau said. Taiwan can offer tourists the chance to follow the invisible Tropic of Cancer at latitude 23o 26 minutes north — on which only 16 countries in the world lie — to stay close to the sun on the summer solstice, tourism official Chou Shih-pi said.

The summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, which occurs on June 21, refers to when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer.

Though the celestial phenomenon represents a mere moment in time, the bureau plans to showcase the sun and the fun it symbolizes as the centerpiece of its summer travel campaign, which is targeted specifically at tourists from colder countries, Chou said.

“We want to capitalize on the unique tropical ambiance created by that exact latitude to promote Taiwan as a great summer travel destination,” he said.

The bureau has been working with Hualien, Nantou, Chiayi and Penghu counties — through which the Tropic of Cancer crosses — to design tourist travel packages.

For example, tours could take in different parks in Hualien County featuring Tropic of Cancer markers or include a Chiayi elementary school named after the famed circle of latitude, he said.

Other tours will have food themes, giving visitors the chance to sample tastes such as smoked flying fish in eastern Taiwan’s Rift Valley or cactus ice-lollipops in outlying Penghu County.

The bureau is also considering holding special events, such as concerts, canoeing and triathlons, in a number of tourist spots along the Tropic of Cancer the tourism official said.

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