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Bureau unveils Taiwan's top 10 tourist townships

The final list of Taiwan's top 10 tourist townships has come out following some 50 days of keen competition among 17 candidates in the form of public voting and evaluation of a screening committee organized by the Tourism Bureau.

According to the bureau, the top 10 are Dajia (大甲) of Taichuing City, Taichung, Daxi (大溪) of Taoyuan County, Beitou (北投) of Taipei, Anping (安平) of Tainan City, Jincheng (金城) of Kinmen County, Meinong (美濃) of Kaohsiung City, Lugang (鹿港) of Changhua County, Jiji (集集) of Nantou County, Ruifang (瑞芳) of New Taipei City, and Jiaoxi (礁溪) of Yilan County.

The bureau kicked off the campaign to select Taiwan's top 10 tourist townships in January, with a list of 17 candidate townships worked out by a screening committee available online beginning Jan. 21. Local people were also allowed to vote through mobile phone apps and post cards as of March 7.

Public voting accounted for 20 percent of the total scores for each candidate township, and the remaining 80 percent was based on evaluations by the screening committee organized by the bureau.

Committee members made fact-finding tours of the 17 candidate areas to experience the real characteristics of each township and evaluate their various tourism environments, facilities and services offered by the towns and their related county and city governments.

Worth mentioning is that Sanyi (三義) of Miaoli County failed to enter the top-l0 list although it won the second highest amount of votes by the public, next only to Daxi, while Lugang finally squeezed into the list even though it ranked last in public votes.

A top tourism official said that the screening committee gave Lungang high scores due to its smooth and “friendly” road surface, bilingual signs on streets and stores, and strong cultural atmosphere, etc.

By contrast, members of the screening committee found that several wood sculptures sold in the wood-sculpture town of Sanyi are sourced from mainland China, toilets there are dirty, and roadsides are filled with trash.

But the screening committee evaluated Sanyi as a township with the most local characteristics, rated Ruisui (瑞穗) of Hualien County as the cleanest township, and assessed the Xinyi District (信義區) of Taipei as boasting the largest potential for international tourism.

The Tourism Bureau will grant NT$500,000 in prize money to each of the top 10 tourist townships, as well as Sanyi, Rusui, and Xinyi District to help them with tourism promotions.

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