taiwanTaiwan has been on an almost constant promotional push this year as the island nation seeks to establish itself as one of Asia’s top destinations.

And in a bold move, the country is over the next month hoping to show off its major cultural attractions in a city that is one of its main tourism rivals.

The “Taiwan Culture Festival 2011: The Dream-making Age” will be staged at various venues in Hong Kong over the next month and will feature artists from the country’s music, film, literature and culinary worlds.

Among the highlights will be the first-ever overseas edition of the massively popular Hohaiyan Rock Festival, an event that now attracts a crowd of more than 30,000 people annually to Taiwan’s Fulong Beach each summer. Ethnic Taiwanese artists including Panai (dubbed the “Taiwanese Tracy Chapman” by local media) and folk singer Ah Tao will top the bill for the event’s Hong Kong edition.

Also heading to Hong Kong for the event will be the Taipei Male Choir while local chefs and food critics will host a “Taste of Taiwan” seminar.

Taiwan last year welcomed 5.56 million international tourists, a year-on-year rise of 26 percent, year on year, and this year its government has increased its efforts to lure more visitors to the country. The country’s leaders are aiming to attract 10 million visitors annually within 10 years.

Last week the Taiwan Tourism Bureau announced it wanted to attract five million visitors per year from China, two million from Japan, 1.5 million from Southeast Asia, 1.2 million from Hong Kong and 800,000 combined from Europe and the United States.

Cultural attractions have been at the forefront of its efforts, spurred on most recently by the acclaim that has come for the blockbuster Seediq Bale, which retells the story of a group of ethnic Taiwanese who stood up to the Japanese invasion in the 1930s.

At the start of October, the country’s Minister of Transportation and Communications, Mao Chi-kuo, announced a plan to improve and expand the country’s scenic routes to reach “international levels,” while plans are also underway to expand the National Palace Museum in Taipei, which holds an estimated 682,000 artefacts.

Taiwan Culture Festival 2011: The Dream-making Age

October 29-November 29
Various venues. Hong Kong
http://www.taiwaninfo.org/2011/eng.htm — AFP RELAXNEWS