Two Taiwan sites rank among top green destinations

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Oct 12, 2019 - Page 2

Nantou County’s Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) and the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area were named among the world’s top 100 green destinations this year.

The two areas were highlighted in the latest “Sustainable Destinations Top 100” unveiled in Croatia on Thursday by Green Destinations, a Dutch nonprofit organization focused on efforts to promote sustainable tourism.

The group described Sun Moon Lake as the star of low-carbon travel in Taiwan, highlighting its hydroelectric power production.

“With the circulation of water in Sun Moon Lake generating electricity and tourism development efforts, this has been a popular destination for many years,” according to a statement on Green Destination’s Web site.

The increase in public transportation to the area was another factor in making the low-carbon tourism of Sun Moon Lake more attractive, the statement said.

“By integrating a cable car system, electric boats and cycling paths, it is expected that tourism development there will continue to progress,” Green Destinations said.

The Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area, which has made the top 100 green destinations list four years in a row, was noted for offering tourists mountain and ocean views, as well as showcasing Taiwanese culture.

Green Destinations highlighted the Old Caoling Tunnel, which connects Yilan and New Taipei City, because the tunnel, sealed and unused for almost 20 years, was revitalized as a cycle track in 2008.

According to Green Destinations, Taiwan tied with Australia and the Seychelles for having the highest number of green destinations in the Asian and Indo-Pacific regions this year.

The two areas selected to represent Australia were Douglas Shire and Mount Hotham, and Felicite Island and North Island for the Seychelles.

This is the fifth year that the Netherlands-based foundation has made a selection of global tourism destinations based on criteria such as sustainable development, social, cultural and economic conservation, and environmental protection.