The Penghu Islands were approved as a member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club at a meeting convened by the France-based group on Monday.
Galip Gur, the club’s president, said Penghu is different and that the people and the Penghu government have made great efforts to promote a beautiful bay, which were key factors in the decision.
A visit by members of the group also convinced them that Penghu should be part of the club.
“If you feel different there, if you feel something comfortable, that means that this place deserves to be a member,” Gur said. “And that’s how we felt in Penghu from the beginning when we arrived there.”
“The things we see there, we don’t see anywhere else. That makes the place beautiful,” he said.
Gur also expressed the hope that Penghu could achieve a balance between tourism and environmental protection.
Penghu was first invited to join the club in 2010, but could not because representatives were unable to attend the club’s annual congress in Vietnam due to the obstruction of China.
The outlying county, located off the nation’s southwestern coast, was invited to attend this year’s annual congress in Turkey and Greece in September and formally applied to join the organization on that occasion.
Following the approval of Penghu’s application at Monday’s meeting in Paris, the island chain will be formally inducted into the club at its annual meeting next year and be given a “Most Beautiful Bay in the World” certificate.