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Taiwan should use cycling to attract visitors: EU representative

2014/02/07 19:34:30

Brussels, Feb. 6 (CNA) The number of European visitors to Taiwan has grown steadily over the past several years and Taiwan should use healthy activities such as cycling, as well as its natural beauty, to promote tourism, a Taiwanese official said in Brussels Thursday.

Tung Kuo-yu, Taiwan's representative to the European Union and Belgium, made the remarks at a Taiwan parlor at the International Holiday Fair being held in the Belgian capital.

Tung noted that cycling is very popular in Europe and that Taiwan's cycling events, such as its cycling festival in November that includes many challenging routes -- including the Taiwan King of the Mountain Challenge that runs 105 kilometers from Hualien's Chihsingtan at sea level to Hehuanshan at 3,275 meters -- could be major tourist draws.

He pointed out that a lot of the athletes who take part in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia have been attracted to compete in the race.

He also said that many people from Eastern Europe love to take ocean liner cruises to Hong Kong and that Taiwan could seek opportunities to be included on their itineraries.

According to statistics, although the number of European visitors to Taiwan is comparatively smaller than those from North America and Asia, it is increasing every year.

The number of Europeans visiting Taiwan totaled 203,301 in 2010, among whom, 53,687 came for sightseeing. In 2012, the number increased to 218,045, of whom 61,545 were tourists.

(By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Lilian Wu)
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