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Travel app launched to help Southeast Asian migrants explore Taiwan

2017/12/15 20:16:23

Photo courtesy of Global Workers' Organization

Taipei, Dec. 15 (CNA) A travel app launched recently aims to help migrant workers from Southeast Asia explore scenic spots around Taiwan and inform them about cultural activities in the country, according to the non-government organization that developed the app.

The QTaiwan app, launched last month by the Global Workers' Organization, Taiwan, offers information about 58 popular scenic spots around Taiwan in English, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese.

Users can also listen to audio tours on the app in their respective languages, and check the latest cultural events in their cities, Karen Hsu (徐瑞希), head of the organization, told CNA Friday.

"We developed this app because we discovered that many migrant factory workers have been getting more time off since the start of this year due to the amended work week rule," Hsu said.

"They have nowhere to go, but our experience tells us that if we provide the workers with ample information, they are very capable of arranging their own holiday schedules," said Hsu, whose organization provides foreign workers in Taiwan with information and services related to work, education and living.

"The Huashan 1914 Creative Park, for example, is very close to the Taipei Main Station, where a lot of migrant workers gather on the weekends, but few of them have ever been to the park and that is a pity," Hsu said.


(Photo courtesy of the Global Workers' Organization)


(Photo courtesy of the Global Workers' Organization)

Other scenic spots on the app include Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Xiangshan Hiking Trail, Taichung's Rainbow Village and National Taichung Theater, and Tainan's Chimei Museum and Chihkan Tower.

Fisherman's Wharf in New Taipei, Pier-2 Art Center in Kaohsiung and Jian Chinxiu Temple in Hualien are also on the list.

The app also includes a section for those who wish to check out the latest cultural activities, festivals and exhibitions in Taiwan, such as the "Christmasland" event in New Taipei, as well as sections introducing local cuisine and Mandarin phrases for traveling.

"With the help of this app, we hope that our migrant friends can better enjoy their holidays and get to know Taiwan more," Hsu said.

She said her organization will continue to expand and update the information on the app, and is currently working with travel agencies to provide one-day package tours for migrant workers.

In addition to serving migrant workers, the app can also be handy for backpackers from Southeast Asia who wish to learn more about local culture, Hsu said.

But she also acknowledged the limits of the service, saying it can be difficult for migrant workers to register and pay for tours online because they often do not have Taiwan credit cards.

Also, when users link to travel agencies' websites through the app, they will find that many of those websites are exclusively in Chinese and English, scaring away travelers from Southeast Asian countries, she said.

She urged the government and more travel agencies to join her group in translating travel information into Southeast Asian languages.

The app can be downloaded for free on both the Android and iOS platform.

(By Christie Chen)
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