Taiwan opens first service center in Europe

The Tourism Bureau on Tuesday opened Europe's first service center on the Champs-Elysées in Paris to provide tourism and travel information on Taiwan.

The Taiwan Tourism Information Center was established to increase the number of tourists visiting Taiwan from Europe, the agency said.

After the unveiling ceremony of the new service center, the agency held a presentation on Taiwan tourism, which was attended by more than 60 French travel companies to explore business and cooperation opportunities in the tourism field.

Photo: CNA

At the information session, in addition to the services provided by the center, Taiwan's tourism resources were introduced in more detail.

Natalie Ebrard, a senior executive at Explorator, said at the event that her travel company organized its first tour group to Taiwan immediately after the magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Hualien County on April 3. Ta.

The group had just returned to France, she added.

According to Ebrard, who was also on the tour, the group traveled across the country from Kenting National Park in the south, through Tainan and Nantou County, to Yehliu Geopark and Yangmingshan National Park in the north.

Members of the tour group were fascinated by Fo Guangshan Temple in Kaohsiung and Taoist temples across Taiwan, she said, adding that these temple cultures do not exist in France.

Evrard also said that delicious food is Taiwan's strength.

Regarding nature, I recommended Alishan National Scenic Area.

“Taiwan is truly a land blessed by God. I think everyone should also go to Alishan. It's so beautiful there. I wanted to stay,” Ebrard said.

Another French travel company, Les Maisons du Voyages, also began offering Taiwan tours a few years ago.

Marie Fejoz, a package tour organizer at Les Maisons du Voyages, said her clients are attracted to Taiwan's culture, nature, metropolitan area and rich history.

Since COVID-19 restrictions in Taiwan were lifted in October 2022, Fejoz said there has been an increase in inquiries regarding travel to Taiwan, especially inquiries about customized itineraries.

However, it is difficult to find tour guides with French language skills and cultural and historical background in Taiwan, Fejoz said, adding that this needs to be improved.

Pascal Ouellet, a travel expert who has lived in Taiwan for three years, said he usually tells his clients that Taiwan is one of the most beautiful countries out of the 80 he has visited.

It's a must-visit place, Ouellette added.

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