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