South Korean rapper and actor Ok Taec-yeon has been chosen as Taiwan’s tourism ambassador in South Korea for this year and next year, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.
Ok arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about noon yesterday and is to spend the next three days shooting a short film for the bureau.
He replaces South Korean actor Yeo Jin-goo, who served as the nation’s tourism ambassador from 2016 to last year.
Photo courtesy of the Tourism Bureau
Asked about the change, Huang Yi-ping (黃怡平), a section head at the International Travel Division, said that South Korea is a fast-changing tourism market and the bureau was seeking a South Korean celebrity who projects a healthy and lively image, and can appeal to female tourists.
“Ok was honorably discharged in May from mandatory military service and he speaks a little Mandarin, which makes him an ideal choice,” she said.
As this year’s tourism theme is visiting small towns in Taiwan and next year’s is mountain tourism, the film would highlight attractions associated with small towns and mountains across the nation, with Ok playing a time traveler in the story, the bureau said.
Before flying to Taiwan, Ok said that he wanted to use this opportunity to explore Taiwanese scenic spots and food, and practice Chinese.
He said that he would upload to his Instagram account behind-the-scene photographs about the film over the next three days, so that his fans in South Korea can get to know more about Taiwan’s tourist spots.
Taiwan offers several advantages that have drawn more South Korean tourists, Tourism Bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said.
Given its proximity, travel between the two nations takes only two-and-a-half hours by airplane, he said, adding that Taiwan’s culture and cuisine, as well as its friendly and safe travel environment, are well-liked by South Korean tourists.
To promote tourism in South Korea, “the bureau has used a mixed strategy of picking idols who appeal to young people and working with popular travel programs,” he said.
South Korea is the fourth-largest source of foreign tourists to Taiwan, with the number of number of travelers exceeding 1 million in 2017 and last year, Chou said.
The number of South Korean tourists already hit 555,565 in the first half of this year, growing 9.69 percent from a year earlier, he said, adding that there was a significant growth of travelers in their 20s or 30s.
These figures show that the strategies used to target the South Korean market have proven effective, he said.
The film would be shown online and at tourism expositions, traffic hubs and shopping districts in South Korea, the bureau said.
The bureau added that it is forming a task force with the Construction and Planning Agency (CPA) to allow specialists from both agencies to jointly develop mountain tourism products to prepare for next year’s tourism theme.
The task force would also incorporate resources from the Council of Indigenous Peoples, the Hakka Affairs Council and the Forestry Bureau.
The Tourism Bureau and the CPA have agreed in principle that all mountains in national parks would be open to tourists, with the latter streamlining procedures that hikers must follow, including reserving rooms at mountain lodges, by building a one-stop platform.
The CPA, the Tourism Bureau and the Forestry Bureau would jointly plan five hiking routes and seven mountain tour routes to showcase the nation’s natural environment and culture, the Tourism Bureau said.
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by