Saturday, 30 June 2012

Yilan County Attracting More Visitors

Situated on the north-eastern coast of Taiwan, Yilan County is rich in natural and cultural attractions, drawing holiday-makers with activities such as leisure farming, whale watching and soaks in hot and cold springs.

The opening of the 12.9 km Hsuehshan Tunnel in 2008, linking Taipei City and Yilan in just 40 minutes, has significantly boosted the laid-back county’s tourism popularity. Before that, travel between the two cities took two hours.
Government statistics reflected annual growth in local and international arrivals – from 274,700 visitors in 2008, Yilan welcomed 855,400 people last year.
Yilan’s improved accessibility has endeared it to MICE planners who recognise the potential of twinning it with Taipei.

Northeast Coast National Scenic Area
Paul Hsieh, deputy general manager of Edison Travel Service which handles English-speaking incentive groups, told TTGmice: “Yilan is a new MICE (destination), as it’s only less than one hour (from Taipei City), but (offers) a completely different landscape and scenery.”

Yilan features attractions such as the Northeast Coast National Scenic Area and Dongshan River Water Park.

The county proved its mettle by successfully hosting the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale-Commission Internationale de Vol Libre (FAI-CIVL) Plenary Meeting 2012 in February. It drew more than 100 participants from 29 countries.

Evergreen Resort Hotel (Jiaosi)
Yilan’s Wai-ao district will welcome the FAI Asian Paragliding Accuracy Championship from June 12-18.

To encourage more MICE flow into Yilan, the county government has recently unveiled a programme to incentivise large Taiwanese companies that bring events to the destination. According to trade sources, Taipei City and Yilan are the only two destinations in Taiwan to offer such initiatives.

Lee Chang-shan, section chief, Tourism Marketing Section of Business and Tourism Department, Yilan County Government, said mid- to large-scale events would be targeted.

Silks Place Yilan
“Although we have only three five-star hotels, namely Silks Place Yilan, Hotel Royal Chiao Hsi and Evergreen Resort Hotel (Jiaosi), these hotels could join forces to handle big events,” said Lee, who added that Yilan’s MICE hardware would be boosted by the opening of the Luodong Cultural Working House which can accommodate events with 2,000 people.

The Luodong Cultural Working House is slated to open in time for the Golden Horse Film Festival this November.

Information released by the tourism bureau revealed that Yilan is also due to welcome several new hotels such as the 146-room Shangrila Resort in August 2013, 99-room Ocean International in December 2013, 84-room Spring Park Jiaoshi Villa Resort in August 2014 and 193-room Sheraton Yilan Resort in December 2015.

Hotel Royal Chiao Hsi
Yilan’s pursuit of strong tourism performance will help to preserve its traditions, as the county government intends to promote fading traditional industries by marketing them as attractions.

For instance, corporate groups can participate in a do-it-yourself pencil programme and create their own pencils with wood.

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