Taiwan welcomes pink dollar

The Tourism Bureau is rolling out LGBT-themed travel packages to US citizens in the hope they will visit Asia’s most gay-friendly country

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Taiwan is Asia's most gay-friendly country (CNA photo)

Taiwan is Asia's most gay-friendly country (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is one of the friendliest countries in Asia toward the gay community and the government hopes to cash in on the pink dollar by making a feature of this fact.

The Taste, an annual food festival organized by the L.A. Times, was held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 on the Paramount Studios backlot. It featured dozens of chefs and restaurants that serve up a wide variety of cuisines, special dishes, and cooking demonstrations.

The Tourism Bureau has participated in the three-day festival for several years in the hope of introducing the island nation’s food and culture. This year, in addition to bubble tea and hot pots, the bureau came up with another selling point: gay pride.

The Tourism Bureau has collaborated with the travel agency, Elite Voyages, to launch an LGBT-themed travel package to Taiwan. This is intended to welcome U.S. citizens to take part in the 2019 gay pride festival scheduled for Oct. 26 in Taipei, reported CNA.

Taiwan hosts Asia’s biggest gay parade every October, and the island became the first country in the region to recognize same-sex marriage, in May. Realizing the purchasing power of the gay community and what the island can offer them, the bureau hopes to invite more U.S. citizens to visit Taiwan and enjoy the gay parade’s cheerful vibes.

A report issued by a travel organization in 2016 indicated that LGBT communities account for roughly 5 to 10 percent of the world’s travelers, the bureau recounted. Gay people tend to travel more frequently and spend more money during their trips compared to other groups of tourists, it added.

In addition to gay pride, the package offers opportunities to visit a Michelin-starred restaurant in the capital, enjoy a cooking course in Dadaocheng and hot spring in Beitou, as well as take a tour of the night market and the Ximending shopping district, among other activities, according to the bureau.