Taiwan’s outlying Matsu island chain is hoping to capitalize on its history to reposition itself as a spot for “romantic military tourism.”
In an upcoming matchmaking party with the theme “Find Your True Love at War,” to be held on Friday and Saturday, the Lianjiang County Government, which administers the Matsu island chain, said it hopes to bring energy to the islands to attract more young people.
Couples will be invited to parties and given a chance to hike around the main island to enjoy its military relics, part of a visitor-friendly atmosphere the county government wants to create.
HOT AND SEXY
“People here no longer put on military uniforms, but hot, sexy wear instead,” Lienchiang County Commissioner Yang Sui-sheng (楊綏生) said.
In another event on White Day, one month after Valentine’s Day, when women in many Asian countries often present chocolate gifts to their boyfriends and lovers, the local government will hold BBQ parties and paintball games exclusively for singles, Yang said.
Yang hopes the series of events will help showcase new features on the island, which is best known for its production of Kaoliang liquor and its traditional Fujianese architecture.
Matsu, a frontline stronghold against China after the Chinese Civil War, remained a war-zone civil administration until 1992, but has since relied on tourism for economic growth.
It attracted more than 80,000 tourists in 2009, compared with 20,000 in 2004, the latest report issued by the Lianjiang County Tourism Bureau said.
The Matsu chain consists of 36 islets and atolls, with a total land area of just under 30km2 and a population of about 10,000. It is just over 10 nautical miles (18.5km) from China and 183km from Taiwan.
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