Taiwan welcomes more M’sian tourists to its shores

Taiwan calling: Cynthia (left) poses for a picture with Chou during the MATTA press conference. — LOW LAY PHON/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Taiwan attracted 60,742 Malaysian visitors after it opened its borders to tourists last October, making Malaysia a significant source of visitors from South-East Asia, says the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Its bureau director Chou Shih Pi said to attract even more Malaysian tourists, the Taiwan Tourism Promotion Delegation – comprising 34 units and 64 members from various tourism-related industries – will take part in the MATTA Fair from March 17 to 19 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec).

Chou said Taiwan had been designated the only “Asia Featured Destination” by the MATTA Fair, with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau teaming up with its tourism ambassador, actress-singer Ayda Jebat, to promote Taiwan’s scenery, cuisine and friendly people.

“Ayda Jebat will make an appearance at the Taiwan Pavilion on the afternoon of March 18 to share interesting stories about her trip to Taiwan with her husband,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Chou said the Taiwan Tourism Bureau is also doing its part to promote low-carbon travel by encouraging Malaysian tourists to experience the charm of Taiwan’s railways.

“Besides the high-speed rail from Taipei to Kaohsiung, Taiwan Railways has further launched sightseeing trains such as Future Express, Future Express Kitchen and Breezy Blue.

“There are diversely themed tourist branch lines such as the Pingxi Line, Neiwan Line, Jiji Line and Alishan Line, which allows visitors to experience local life from different perspectives, making it ideal for Malaysians to explore local areas,” he noted.

Chou said as the Muslim tourism market grows, Taiwan is stepping up efforts to improve its environment for Muslim travellers by equipping major transportation hubs and 13 national scenic areas with facilities catering to their needs.

“Malaysians only need their passport to travel to Taiwan; no quarantine and vaccine certificate required. And more than 324 restaurants and hotels have obtained halal certification,” he added.

Chou said during the MATTA Fair, the Taiwan pavilion will provide activities and events that merge traditional Taiwanese dances with modern elements to create new artistic expressions.

“The public can also experience a variety of DIY activities, such as making citrus essential oil cleaners and decorating cookie dough in the shape of Taiwan and Taiwan-style cotton candy in various shapes and flavours,” he added.

Meanwhile, MATTA vice-president (outbound) Cynthia Tan said the number of Malaysians travelling to Taiwan has yet to reach pre-pandemic peaks, with MATTA expecting two-way tourist flows between Malaysia and Taiwan to increase.

The MATTA Travel Fair, which is free of charge to visit, is expected to attract 250,000 visitors as it opens from 10am to 9pm over the three days, with frequent shuttle bus services to Mitec provided from KL Sentral and Sunway Putra Mall.

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