At a joint press conference today, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and the Penghu County Government announced plans to promote Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago as part of the tourism bureau’s ‘Year of Bay Tourism’ initiative for 2018. This initiative forms part of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s “Tourism 2020-Taiwanese Sustainable Tourism Development Program” which has been developed in response to the global trend of sustainable tourism.
The goal of the ‘Year of Bay Tourism’ programme is to highlight the Taiwan’s marine tourism assets by encouraging tourists to explore the country’s 10 major islands, develop island eco-tourism, and spread appreciation and awareness for protecting marine ecology among locals and tourists. Of these 10 islands, three are located in Penghu: Qimei, Yuweng and Jibe.
Through this initiative, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and the Penghu County Government hope to increase the sustainable development of tourism resources, grow and mature the bay tourism market, spread awareness about clean ecological activities in Penghu’s bays, promote regional tourism to southern Taiwan and rejuvenate the national tourism development plan.
According to Taiwan Tourism Bureau Director-General Joe Y. Chou, the overall marketing of the 2018 ‘Year of Bay Tourism’ will follow three major themes: ‘Seasonal Events Highlights’, ‘Wonderful Tour GO Experience’ and ‘Continuous Promotion’. Efforts will be focused on creating a sightseeing resources inventory, integrating local industries, packaging tourism products, developing peripheral products, marketing domestically and overseas, and developing source markets in order to stimulate the development of the tourism industry as a whole. The campaign combines the resources of various National Scenic Area administrations and local administrations to improve the tourism environment in bays, improve the quality of facilities and services, enrich the image of bay tourism, and boost local economies.
At the heart of the ‘Year of Bay Tourism’ is a major event hosted in Penghu this September and October – the 2018 World Congress of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World (MBBW). Founded in 1997, MBBW is a French-based Club supported by UNESCO that has steadily expanded to cover bays in 25 countries, including Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Yeosu Bay in South Korea and Bodrum in Turkey. As part of the 2018 World Congress, Penghu will play host to a number of conferences and forums as well as a month-long carnival to welcome representatives from 38 bay areas, 40 cities and an anticipated 30,000 additional tourists.
Penghu has rich ecological landscapes, unique marine culture and special natural scenery which the local administration is taking great care to preserve. In order to actively reduce marine litter, the Penghu County Government is focusing on maintaining clean beaches, clean sea, source reduction, and environmental education to be aligned with the main themes of the annual bay conference: “marine ecology and environment, local economic development and sustainable tourism”. Under the four focus areas, the administration is conducting beach cleanup activities and environmental protection work, avoiding the use of disposable plastic products and avoiding the purchase or use of plastics. Local residents and tourists are being encouraged to reduce the use of particulate products and over-packaged products and to properly dispose of waste.
The Taiwan Tourism Bureau and the Penghu County Government look forward to welcoming the 2018 World Congress of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, improving Penghu’s visibility on an international scale and promoting Taiwan’s marine tourism assets to the world.