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.
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of