TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Penghu archipelago in the middle of the Taiwan Straits will welcome over a thousand foreign visitors next year as it hosts the annual meeting of the French-based Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club, officials said Saturday.
Penghu County Magistrate Chen Kuang-fu (陳光復) hosted a French cultural event titled ‘Bonjour! Penghu!’ at a school Saturday, during which he praised the role of Taiwan’s former representative to France, Michel Lu (呂慶龍), in helping to push the islands’ cause.
In September and October 2018, over a thousand foreign visitors will arrive in Penghu, where a yachting expo, an international gourmet exhibition and an Ironman Triathlon will welcome them, Chen said. More than 60 participants in an international beauty contest and events by trade organizations would also take part during that period, according to the county chief, allowing “the world to see Penghu.”
The Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club was founded after an idea by three tourism officials in France in 1996, and has since steadily expanded to cover bays in 25 countries, including Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Yeosu Bay in South Korea and Bodrum in Turkey.
“Penghu’s unique marine geology and landscape, deep culture and history, and distinctive bay features greatly impressed the other member states of the organization,” the club said in 2014, when it presented a membership certificate to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau at the ITB Berlin Travel Fair.
Members of the club should commit themselves to “saving the natural heritage of the bay, preserving its identity, respecting the way of life and the traditions of those that inhabit the area whilst ensuring economic development compatible with these commitments,” its charter says.