The number of European visitors to Taiwan has grown steadily over the past several years and Taiwan should use healthy activities such as cycling, as well as its natural beauty, to promote tourism, Taiwan’s representative to the EU and Belgium Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷) said.
Tung made the remarks at a Taiwan parlor at the International Holiday Fair held in the Belgian capital on Thursday.
Tung said that cycling is very popular in Europe and that Taiwan’s cycling events, such as the nation’s cycling festival in November with its many challenging routes.
The November festival includes the Taiwan King of the Mountain Challenge that runs 105km from Hualien’s Chihsingtan at sea level to Hehuanshan at 3,275m, and could be a major tourist draw, Tung said.
He added that many of the athletes who take part in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia have been attracted to compete in the race, and many people from Eastern Europe love to take ocean liner cruises to Hong Kong and that Taiwan could seek opportunities to be included on their itineraries.
According to statistics, while the number of European visitors to Taiwan is comparatively smaller than those from North America and Asia, it is increasing every year.
The number of Europeans visiting Taiwan totaled 203,301 in 2010, among whom 53,687 came for sightseeing. In 2012, the number increased to 218,045, of whom 61,545 were tourists.