While coffee farms in the Alishan (阿里山) area are gaining nationwide reputation, the local branch of the Tourism Bureau aims to promote local farming to coffee professionals nationwide and coffee-loving tourists.
The bureau has invited coffee professionals to stay at 20 local coffee farms from Monday to April 28, to learn about region-specific techniques.
The campaign aims to capitalize on the growing reputation of coffee from the scenic area, boosted by local growers winning 14 out of 20 awards at last year’s Taiwan International Coffee Show, said Chang Shu-feng (張淑楓), an official at the bureau’s Alishan branch office.
“Instead of holding a matchmaking event for businesses, we thought why not turn the demand for such an event into a short vacation for coffee professionals?” Chang said.
The program offers 100 coffee professionals the chance to stay at the farms for about two months, where they would harvest and roast coffee beans, and support the local farmers, who would serve as their guides to the area.
The bureau is confident that there is enough demand among the nation’s coffee professionals to fill all openings, Chang said, adding that the registration fee is NT$50,000 and participants would have to pay for their accommodation.
The tour is a win-win situation for all those involved, she said.
The bureau and the Chiayi County Coffee Industry Association would help farmers and other industry professionals establish long-term cooperation, Chang said.
The program can be seen as a research-and-development opportunity, and to help increase the profitability of Alishan coffee, she said.
Chang hopes that participants would post about their experience on social media, adding that this would help local tourism.
“We offer travel packages featuring coffee events tailored to a wide variety of needs,” she said.
Separately, a hotel operator on the Matsu archipelago aims to make local liquor production the centerpiece of his offerings.
Liu Hao-chen (劉浩晨), owner of a hotel in Lienchiang County’s Nangan Township (南竿), has invited industry professionals to hold liquor tastings for local residents.
Although Gaoliang liquor is the speciality of the islands, drinking culture is universal, Liu said.
“We can capitalize on the famous local Gaoliang,” he said.
Tastings of local cuisine, which often features Gaoliang, would also be held, Liu said.
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