Taiwan was represented for the first time Monday at the Arab world’s largest travel fair, hoping to capitalize on what it sees as the great potential of the region’s growing tourism market.
Taiwan sent a 31-member delegation of government officials, travel agents and health industry representatives to the four-day Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai, which will attract more than 2,700 tourism operators from 80 countries.
During a pre-show briefing given by Taiwan’s delegation on Sunday, agents from some 110 Middle Eastern travel companies expressed interest in Taiwan’s natural scenery and medical tourism packages, according to Tourism Bureau official Hsieh Chang-ming, who is stationed in Singapore and is also responsible for the Middle East market.
Based on that interest in natural vistas, Hsieh said the local tourism sector is planning to make such famous tourist spots as Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan and the Qingshui Cliffs in eastern Taiwan as the centerpiece of its campaign during the show.
Taiwan is now more prepared than ever to welcome Arab tourists, tourism officials said, because it has been working to create a Muslim-friendly environment in recent years to diversify its tourist base.
One of the major steps taken has been to grant Halal certification to identify restaurants and hotels as trustworthy establishments that serve food in compliance with Islamic dietary requirements.
Tourism officials are also more upbeat about attracting Muslim tourists this year than in the past because of the recent launch of nonstop flights between Taipei and Dubai by Emirates, the Dubai government-owned carrier.
Originally Published on http://www.wantchinatimes.com