Two scenic areas in Taiwan -- Sun Moon Lake and the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area -- were named among the world's top 100 green destinations of 2019 on Thursday.
The two destinations were highlighted in the latest 2019 Sustainable Destinations Top 100 unveiled in Croatia that day by Green Destinations (GD), a Dutch nonprofit organization focused on efforts to promote sustainable tourism.
GD described Sun Moon Lake as playing the starring role of hydroelectric power production in Taiwan and focusing on travel with a low carbon footprint.
"With the circulation of water in Sun Moon Lake generating electricity and tourism development efforts, this has been a popular destination for many years," according to the GD website.
The increase in public transportation routes is another factor making the low-carbon tourism of Sun Moon Lake more attractive, GD's website says.
"The well-thought-out public transit schedule is more attractive than driving, thereby avoiding traffic congestion and difficulty in parking," the website reads.
"By integrating a cable car system, electric boats and cycling paths, it is expected that tourism development there will continue to progress," GD said.
The Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area, listed among the top 100 green destinations for four years in a row, was touted for offering its visitors mountainous and marine scenery, as well as Taiwanese cultural heritage.
GD praised in particular the Old Caoling Tunnel across the border of Yilan and New Taipei for its historical heritage and effective use in tourism because the tunnel, sealed and unused for almost 20 years, was revitalized as a cycle track in 2008.
According to GD, Taiwan tied with Australia and the Seychelles for having the highest number of green destinations in the Asian and Indo-Pacific regions this year.
The two areas selected to represent Australia were Douglas Shire and Mount Hotham and those for the Seychelles were Félicité Island and North Island.
2019 is the fifth year that the Netherlands-based foundation has made a selection of global tourism destinations based on criteria such as sustainable development, social, cultural and economic conservation, and environmental protection.
Sun Moon Lake (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)