Bohol travel alert issued
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday issued a “yellow” travel warning for Bohol province in the central Philippines, reminding travelers to be cautious when visiting the area hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Tuesday. The alert advises travelers to reconsider plans to visit Bohol and pay special attention to their personal safety if they do go. Many aftershocks have been recorded in the Philippine province since the earthquake, officials at the ministry’s Bureau of Consular Affairs said, adding that the Bohol government has declared the province a disaster area. Under the ministry’s four-color travel alert system, “red” represents the strongest warning and advises people to avoid the area. “Orange” means travelers should take precautions and avoid non-essential travel and is followed by “yellow” and “gray.”
Giant duck exhibition ends
Thousands of admirers flocked to Kaohsiung Harbor yesterday to get a last glimpse of the city’s Rubber Duck inflatable sculpture, which will conclude its appearance in Greater Kaohsiung today. Glory Pier (光榮碼頭) was packed with buses from early yesterday morning carrying admiring tourists to pose for photographs with the floating artwork. The sculpture has drawn 3.5 million spectators since it was put on display a month ago, the Greater Kaohsiung Government said. A closing ceremony for artist Florentijn Hofman’s duck exhibition will be held at 4pm today, and the municipality has encouraged the duck’s fans to dress in yellow to bid it farewell. The 18m-tall, 1,000kg rubber duckie will then be deflated and stored, but Rubber Duck fever will continue, with Taoyuan County to display its own version at a festival from Saturday next week to Nov. 10.
Travel fair draws 61,000
The nation’s largest travel fair attracted about 61,000 visitors on its opening day on Friday, nearly 20 percent more than last year, the event organizer said yesterday. Sales to Japan have been especially strong due to the depreciation of the yen, the Taiwan Visitors Association said. Such momentum has helped lift sales of trip packages to other east Asian countries as well, it said, adding that a shorter-than-usual six-day Lunar New Year holiday next year could make short-haul trips in the region more popular. During its four-day run, the Taipei International Travel Fair is expected to hit a new record of 280,000 visitors, the association said. Last year’s event drew 260,000 fairgoers and generated NT$1.5 billion (US$51 million) in sales. Now in its 26th edition, the fair has brought together 900 organizations from 60 countries this year, with 12.5 percent more booths than last year.
Taipei 101 to star in film
Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson is to visit Taiwan to shoot a movie that will feature Taipei 101, the skyscraper’s owner said yesterday. The US actress, who starred in Luc Besson’s action thriller Lucy, will not shoot scenes inside the building, according to Michael Liu (劉家豪), a spokesman for owner Taipei Financial Center Co. Instead, the crew will take aerial shots of the skyscraper, which could promote Taiwan as a travel destination, he said. The date of the shoot is unclear, Liu said. While the Taipei Film Commission has declined to comment, citing confidentiality, it has posted a notice that two streets near a hotel in Taipei will be blocked from Monday to Thursday, according to a report by the Chinese-language online news service NOWnews.