Taiwan has won the right to host the 2022 World Indigenous Tourism Summit (WITS), the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) announced Thursday (Dec. 19), after signing a memorandum of understanding with the summit's organizers earlier in the day to formalize the deal.
At the signing ceremony, CIP Minister Icyang Parod said Taiwan has 16 indigenous tribes, which host unique festivals almost every month of the year.
The year-round festivities were the best selling point and ultimately helped Taiwan win the bid to host the biennial summit, he said.
"We hope the summit will help lift the international profile of Taiwan and its indigenous tribes and provide an opportunity for us to learn from other countries that have greater experience in indigenous tourism," Parod said.
According to the CIP, Taiwan began focusing on indigenous tourism only in 2015.
Benny Sherman, chairman of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA) Leadership Council that organizes the WITS, said he gained a favorable impression of Taiwan after just one a week in the country.
Apart from signing the MOU, Sherman said, his visit to Taiwan has included participation in the International Indigenous Economic Development Forum and visits to several indigenous tribes that treated him to delicious food.
During the week-long stay, he was reassured that the decision to award Taiwan the right to the WITS was fully justified, he added.
After participating in the 2018 summit in Waitangi, New Zealand, the CIP applied in January to the WINTA to host the 2022 event.
The biennial event, first held in Canada in 2016, attracted some 250 delegates from 12 countries last year.
It is aimed at bringing indigenous tourism operators and world leaders together to discuss economic, environmental, social and political advances and challenges in indigenous tourism, according to WINTA.
The third edition of the summit will be held in Perth, Australia, April 5-9, 2020.