Israeli bloggers tour Taipei, try Xiao Long Bao

Israeli media team members were releasing a sky lantern at Pingxi, New Taipei City. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Visitors Association, Singapore Office)

Xiao Long Bao (By Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli media team had a bike tour in Taitung, east coast of Taiwan. (Image courtesy of Taiwan Visitors Association, Singapore Office)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After a successful sports tourism thanks to the Summer Universiade, Taipei City is aiming large groups of tourists from the Middle East market with its claim of unique cultural heritage and popular attractions, such as the 101-floored Taipei 101, the eighth tallest building in the world.

Organized by Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, a media trip comprising seven Israeli journalist and tourist bloggers recently visited Taiwan. In Taipei, the team toured the National Palace Museum, known for possessing the world’s largest fine collection of Chinese art, Ximending Shopping Area and Taipei 101, and was getting around on the Taipei double-decker sightseeing bus, with an English-speaking guide on the vehicle.

The impressed team told local media that the bus tour allowed tourists to get to know the most fascinating sights of the city in a short period of time, and they enjoyed local delicacies very much, especially the Xiao Long Bao, literally meaning soup dumpling, and soy milk hot pot, which was said they have never tried before.

Israeli official Maria Vernik said that the bus tour guide offered a peek behind the busy streets and floral and jade markets, adding that the team definitely wants to revisit the city and the rest of the beautiful island.

Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏), commissioner of the Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government, indicated that the number of visitors from the Middle East exceeded 10,000 people for the first seven months of 2017, with a stunning amount of money spent during their stay in Taiwan despite a relatively small number of visitors compared to other regions. Among them, Israeli tourists accounted for approximately 40 percent of the Middle East total visitors, according to Chien.

Apart from Taipei, the team traveled to Taitung, Pingtung and Hualien during their stay in Taiwan.

A tourism bureau official said that there are around 40 visitors from Israel per week for the time being as Taiwan is emerging as a new popular travel destination for the Middle East country of about 8 million people.