Tourism bureau promotes Taiwan as romantic hot spot


TAIWAN-taipeiExotic, far-flung dream honeymoon destinations dot the globe, from Tahiti and Thailand to ... Taiwan?

The Taiwan Tourism Bureau thinks so. Looking for novel ways to drive arrivals amid the economic downturn, the organization has been courting engaged couples and newlyweds with a host of nuptials-oriented events and promotions, including the recent Love 101 event atop capital city Taipei's tallest skyscraper, the 1,670-foot Taipei 101.

The bureau describes the structure, which remains the world's tallest building until Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is completed, as "a landmark appreciated for its grandeur and romantic ambience."

The romance-oriented promotion is first being directed at travelers from nearby Southeast Asian source markets. For Love 101, six couples from Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia who submitted winning "vows of love" via the Internet earned a romantic dinner at Taipei 101 and the chance to win a diamond ring.

Other ongoing and planned romance themed events and packages include Honeymoon and Wedding Photo Shoot package tours, the 2009 North Coast Wedding photography contest, the Love at Sun Moon Lake "honeymoon activity," the Alishan Wedding Bliss activity and an Austronesian Ethnic Wedding activity.

The new travel products "focus on [Taiwan's] high-quality, diversified and super-value offerings," according to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. "We believe all of these events will shine the spotlight on Taiwan as one of the world's most romantic places to visit," said a bureau spokesperson.

The pitch might not be as farfetched as it seems: Taiwan is even home to a river named for love. The banks of the Love River in the city of Kaohsiung have long been popular with besotted locals -- even when the waterway was heavily polluted. Today, the river has been beautified with parks and lovebirds can leisurely sail the river by boat from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

For more on honeymoons and other vacations in Taiwan, visit online.

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