Monday, November 5, 2007

Assignment #7

Freeway not the answer for Hualien

WE OFTEN FORGET that the place where we live is "Ilha Formosa" -- the beautiful island. It's only when others remind us that we discover that there are a lot of interesting places to go in Taiwan. Following several foreign media reports on traveling in Taiwan, the National Geographic Traveler Magazine published a 12-page article about it in this month's issue. Such articles always report that Taroko Gorge and the East Coast leave a deep impression on foreign visitors. But on Oct 28, the Chinese-language China Times reported that the Taroko Express is having trouble selling tickets. These news reports reveal several things.

One is that Taiwan has a lot of potential for tourism, but needs more media coverage to promote it globally. Another is that to develop further, the tourist industry still needs to learn the necessary basic skills, such as solving the transportation problem.

The geographical isolation of the East Coast has helped preserve the natural landscape of Hualien and Taitung, making it an important economic foundation. The construction of the Suhua freeway will only quicken the destruction of this landscape.

The tourism industry has eagerly awaited the relaxation of the regulations for Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan. But it has forgotten to develop other foreign tourism. Stories about travel in Taiwan that appear in European and US media prove that there is a lot of unused tourism potential. But if the government wants to attract foreign tourists, there is a lot of fundamental work to be done.

An example is maps: when traveling in some countries, every time one arrives at a place, one can find clear maps of the area. Many of these maps include recommended itineraries, and even three-dimensional pictures of some buildings in the area. Maps in Taiwan, however, often only show roads and road names. For people who can't read Chinese, such maps are difficult to use because their knowledge of the area is based not on street names, but on some characteristic or familiar landmarks, like McDonald's restaurants, gas stations, 7-Elevens, or prominent buildings. Taiwan's tourist maps show that the industry doesn't really understand how to attract foreign tourists.

If Hualien really wants to attract more tourists, building a freeway is not the way. The way to implement sustainable management is to first make sure there is a good foundation for a quality tourism experience

1. What do you think of the proposed Suhua Highway?
2. Which is more important, preserving the environment or promoting the economy?
3. What can Taiwan do to improve its foreign tourism?


Anonymous said...

Well, it will be faster than before if we have a new Suhua freeway.But we will loose the environment,if we loose the environment,it can't come back,but if we loose some of our free time it'll be O.K.
Because Hualien is beautiful, so it will be touristy then if we have the freeway and loose the environment, touristy will think there is nothing to travel in Hualien so nobody will want to go to Hualien.Last last week I just went to Hualien, I spent about 8 hours from Tainan to Hualien(Maybe it's really long because we had stop in the way)When we got there it was beautiful and the air in Hualien was pretty clean and makes you comfortable that's because nothing has been pollute.In the morning the sky was really blue and it didn't have any cloud.
So I think if Hualien wants to have lots of touristy than they should think how to make people wants to go , and not to think get a new freeway and loose their environment.

Anonymous said...

I believe this isn't the only reason why thay want a Suhua Highway. The highway will surely bring lots of benefit from economy and it helps a lot to abbreviate the poverty gap between megalopolises and countrysides. To achieve these goal, some treasure will be sacrificed, their beautiful enviroment will be sacrificed.
It's about time for class, so I have to leave now or I'll be late for class.