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.
Taiwanese have donated more than NT$10 million (US$329,946) to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, following an appeal for help by a Yilan-based Italian priest to save his “other homeland.” Catholic Father Giuseppe Didone on Wednesday issued a public letter asking for donations to be made to the fundraising center of Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong to purchase emergency provisions, including surgical masks and protective gowns, for medical personnel in Italy. Didone yesterday expressed his gratitude and said that he was touched by the love shown by Taiwanese. While state-funded hospitals in Italy are mostly adequately supplied, many local clinics are suffering from
MISCONCEPTION: Cats can injure themselves if they fall from a high place, despite being able to right themselves, an advocate said, urging owners to secure their windows Injuries from falls and poisoning are common among domesticated cats, two animal welfare advocates said, urging cat owners to pay attention to the safety of their pets. “Placing netting over metal window grates is a common and important measure to protect cats from falling,” said one of the advocates, who used the alias “Cuddy.” Some owners let their cats roam outdoors, but doing so could be dangerous for the animals, said the other advocate, who used the alias “Mark.” As cats love high places and have hunting instincts, they can easily endanger themselves when trying to pounce on birds or bats from a
‘TAIWAN IDENTITY’ The outbreak in China occurred as Taiwan was promoting its own national character, which is fundamentally changing cross-strait exchanges China’s initial cover-up of the COVID-19 outbreak has further deepened the distrust between Taipei and Beijing, dealing an irreparable blow to cross-strait exchanges, analysts said. Since March 2018, when a US-China trade dispute began to unfold, decoupling from China has become a worldwide trend, which has been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology professor Yen Chien-fa (顏建發) said on Friday. Taiwan started distancing itself from China before the rest of the world with its New Southbound Policy and deepening its ties with like-minded nations, he said. Yen said that he does not believe that anyone would buy
‘USE ECONOMICALLY’: People can use rice cookers to sterilize masks and reuse them three to five times, the FDA director-general said, reminding people not to use water People should not waste masks even with the purchasing quotas increasing this week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that sterilization with a rice cooker is a good way to extend supplies. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from Thursday, people can buy nine masks per 14 days, which should be sufficient. “However, I have to urge everyone to use masks economically,” Chen said, adding that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released information on how masks can be reused. FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said that masks can be put