Taoyuan County boasts many industrial and commercial activities, with two-fifths of the nation’s top 500 companies having established factories in the county, and as tourism has grown in recent years, with visitors bringing a big economic boost to the county, the local government says it has been providing assistance to local companies to help them transform their factories into tourist attractions.
Among the factories that have been transformed are those owned by Hey Song Corp, Formosa Plastics Corp, I-Mei Foods Co, Coca-Cola Co and Kimlan Foods Co.
In October last year, Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corp’s Linkou Brewery in Guishan Township (龜山) was listed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs as one of the nation’s top five tourism factories.
The ministry also set up an advertising campaign at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to help increase the visibility of the county’s Kuo Yuan Ye Museum of Cake and Pastry, which it said is one of the best factories for international tourists to visit.
Taoyuan County Government officials said some of the tourism factories are focused on introducing the company’s history or culture, such as the Formosa Plastics Group Museum, which showcases the group’s development and its late founder, Wang Yung-ching (王永慶).
Other museums, such as big-name brands Hey Song, Coca-Cola, Kimlan and Kuang-chuan Co, mainly display popular items from “the good old days,” such as Hey Song’s glass bottled soda, the officials said.
Action Electronics Co’s Action Museum, for example, displays electronic products that reflect the development of the industry in Taiwan over the past 30 years.
Meanwhile, other tourism factories, such as Hunya Foods Co’s Republic of Chocolate, the Kuo Yuan Ye Museum of Cake and Pastry, White-Wood-House Brand Discovery Gallery, I-Mei’s Ecological and Lifestyle Park, Les Enphants and Xin-Peng-Lai Foods Co’s Tofu Culture Center, allow visitors to participate in the making of food or other products to take home as souvenirs, the officials added.
The local government used “Made in Taoyuan No. 1” as its slogan to promote the county’s tourism factories in 2011, before adopting the slogan “Taoyuan Tourism Factories Prosperous Wonderland” in 2012 to highlight that the factories have been transformed into amusement parks.
According to government statistics, more than 2 million people visited the factories in 2012 and last year, bringing in an estimated NT$600 million (US$19.9 million) a year, while the successful transformation of the factories has also shined a light on the county’s traditional industries.
The officials said that due to the success of the project, more companies are eager to transform their factories. For example, Me-de Food Co’s factory in Bade District (八德市) recently held an opening ceremony and was certified by the Ministry of Economic Affairs as the county’s 23rd tourism factory.