Over the last 3 years, Taichung City Government Tourism and Travel Bureau has facilitated nearly media tours for nearly 30 media outlets in Southeast Asian countries, so that they can gain insight into Taichung’s tourism resources in media coverages, thereby effectively attracting Southeast Asian tourists to come to Taichung and Taiwan, as well as doubling the Southeast Asian travel market. Renowned Thai travel program Pha Sa BAZAAR has noticed Taichung’s uniqueness and visited popular destinations in Taichung, Changhua, and Nantou over a period of 5 days starting from July 20. In particular, they have spent 3 days in Taichung to experience the city’s architectural art, cultural and creative marketplace, tourist factories, gourmet food DIY, tea houses, and night markets, etc. At the end of the journey, they exclaimed that Taichung is the perfect place to enjoy gourmet cuisine, great entertainment, and shopping!
According to the Tourism and Travel Bureau, since regular direct flights from Bangkok to Taichung were launched in November last year, in terms of the number of international tourists arriving in Taiwan via Taichung, Thai tourists have ranked second place among Southeast Asian tourists, indicating that Taichung has gradually become the premier destination for cultural experiences in Taiwan among Thai travelers.
Statistics from the Tourism Bureau, MOTC reveal that the number of Thai tourists in Taiwan has demonstrated steady growth annually. In 2018, 320,000 tourists arrived in Taiwan, an increase of 9.39% compared to 2017. In comparison with the same period last year (January to May), the number of inbound tourists in 2019 has increased by 16.44% to 57.66%, showing double-digit growth. In particular, benefiting from regular direct flights from Bangkok to Taichung, the number of Thai tourists entering Taiwan via Taichung rose from a monthly average of 34 persons in October 2018 to 1,573 persons during January and May 2019, indicating the appeal of Taiwan among Thai travelers.
Well-known Thai travel program Pha Sa BAZAAR has noticed the uniqueness and local characteristics of Taichung's scenic attractions too. Assisted by Tourism Bureau, MOTC's Thailand office, the filming crew arrived in Taiwan via Taichung International Airport on July 20 to embark on a 5-day journey taking them to popular destinations throughout Taichung, Changhua, and Nantou. In particular, they have spent 3 days in Taichung to experience the city’s architectural art, cultural and creative marketplace, tourist factories, gourmet food DIY, tea houses, and night markets, etc., hoping to attract more Thai tourists to visit Taichung and Taiwan, in turn generating boundless business opportunities.
After clearing customs, the Pha Sa BAZAAR filming crew headed for Carton King, and the carton-themed family amusement park wowed the television hosts. The filming crew also experienced pearl milk tea DIY in order to appreciate the abundant culture of the birthplace of pearl milk tea. Coincidentally, Taichung City Hall is in the process of hosting the Taichung Pearl Milk Tea Festival, therefore the hosts have invited young viewers to come to Taichung to experience the authentic flavors of pearl milk tea. In addition, they visited Wu Chun Tea Hall – famed for its old-fashioned meals – to enjoy traditional Taiwanese cuisine.
Thereafter, the filming crew traveled to Fengjia Night Market and Yizhong Shopping District to savor iconic delicacies such as Taiwanese sausage wrapped in sticky rice sausage. Other prominent destinations including Fantasy Story Cultural and Creative Cluster, Audit Village, and Calligraphy Greenway were also filmed for the show. Last but not least, they experienced sun cake DIY and admired the architectural beauty of National Taichung Theater.
According to a member of the Pha Sa BAZAAR filming crew, compared to the hot climate in Bangkok, Thailand, Taichung offers pleasant climatic conditions conducive for traveling. Furthermore, the tourist factories and DIY experiences are perfect for families, while the international theater is also a highly recommended destination. The dizzying collection of cultural and creative marketplaces and night markets offer great food, entertainment, and shopping. In contrast to the up-tempo, busy metropolitan lifestyle, Taichung is a city emanating local charisma and LOHAS appeals, making it an astonishing, memorable journey.
Tourism and Travel Bureau Director-General Hsiao-chi Lin, Pha Sa BAZAAR favors unique destinations featuring cultural diversity and local characteristics, and traditional markets, art bazaars, organic marketplaces, and night markets serve as the epitome of the local lifestyle. The program's target audience consists of young office workers above the age of 25, taking them to visit new or unknown attractions, inspiring them to unleash their imaginations and creativity during the journey. The program's Facebook page has 2.7 million followers, therefore it is hoped that young Thai people will be able to feel the exuberance and LOHAS vibe of Taichung via the perspective of Pha Sa BAZAAR.