Sat, Jan 11, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Bureau introduces routes suitable for elderly tourists

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Tourism Bureau yesterday introduced four tour routes designed to attract older travelers.

The travel routes are located within the four national scenic areas managed by the Tourism Bureau: the north coast and Guanyinshan (觀音山); Sun Moon Lake; Dapeng Bay (大鵬灣); and the east coast.

Each route has different things to offer to senior travelers.

For example, the north coast and Guanyingshan National Scenic Area highlight hot springs and healthy lifestyles.

Elderly tourists can begin their day by viewing the unique rock formations at the Yehliu Geopark, followed by a hot-spring bath in Jinshan (金山).

After the hot springs, they can go on an easy hike at Shitoushan Park and enjoy the view of the Candlestick Twin Islets (燭臺雙嶼).

Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said the nation reached the 8 million mark in terms of the visitors arriving in the nation last year, a sign that more international tourists want to explore Taiwan.

This in turn has stimulated the growth of the domestic tour market, he said.

“We have overlooked two groups of the tourists: the handicapped and the elderly,” Yeh said. “We think that it would be unfair if they could not travel because they walk slowly or facilities do not meet their needs. The Tourism Bureau has been working on creating an friendly environment friendly for them as well.”

Yeh further highlighted the potential in the market of older travelers, saying that there are approximately 2.6 million people in the age group of 65 and above in the nation.

“Some old people like to spend their time chatting with people at the hospitals,” Yeh said. “However, traveling could actually help them live a healthy and balanced life, which could in turn reduce the nation’s medical expenditure.”

Bureau Director-General David Hsieh (謝謂君) said tours for older travelers must take into consideration several factors. For example, the tours must be tailored to the needs of elderly tourists who might have physical restrictions.

“It must not be a marching tour. The tempo has to be slower. It’s OK to climb a little, but paths should not be too steep,” Hsieh said.

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