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Taiwan to promote lighthouse visits

2013/01/05 11:42:22

Taipei, Jan. 5 (CNA) Many of the 34 lighthouses around Taiwan will soon be touted as visitor attractions under a plan to restore historic sites and transform them into tourism resources, transport officials said earlier this week.

Lighthouses in Taiwan should be better utilized, as the century-old buildings are not only valuable cultural assets but also usually situated in scenic spots, said the Maritime and Port Bureau.

Bureau officials said after taking over the lighthouse management from the Customs Administration Jan. 1 that they will be working with the Tourism Bureau to restore the lighthouses and develop related travel campaigns.

These will include port officials, history experts and volunteers offering guided tours around the lighthouses, said bureau division chief Liang Jui-tsung.

The bureaus will also recommend walking itineraries and suggest spots for having wedding photos taken around the lighthouses, Liang said.

"Besides serving as navigation aids for shipping, lighthouses could make fascinating holiday getaways if they were managed better," Liang said, adding that the Eluanbi Lighthouse on the southern tip of Taiwan drew some 1,500 tourists in 2012.

Aside from Eluanbi, there are currently five lighthouses open to the public -- Sandiaojiao, Kaohsiung, Yuweng Tao, Tungchu Tao and Tungyin Tao -- the latter three of which are on Taiwan's outlying islands.

Liang said there will be more lighthouses opened to the public in the near future.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)