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June 29, 2017

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'Romantic' Tainan tour receives mixed reviews

TAINAN--Some foreign tourists participating in the Tourism Bureau's matchup travel campaign said Sunday that the tour has met their expectations, while others said the lack of interaction between tourists has made it impossible to arouse feelings of love.

Most of the 100 foreign tourists hailing from 20 countries said the two-day tour to the southern city of Tainan was well-organized and fun-filled, but their opinions differed in terms of whether the city had lived up its moniker of "destination for romance" as campaigned by the bureau.

Miho Konishi, a Japanese single in her early 30s, said the travel itinerary included a visit to the city's four temples dedicated to the "old man of the moonlight." This man is believed to be the god for marriage and love, which was romantic enough, she added.

"Praying for love in a foreign land was new to me," she said. "It was a romantic experience and allowed me to look into myself and open up for love."

Bonnie Deng from Hong Kong said the tour, which included a walk into the city's historic alleys and an evening party asking participants to dress up and introduce themselves to others, was memorable and interesting.

Nevertheless, the 27-year-old said she hoped the bureau would impose more "compulsory" measures so that members of the opposite sex could interact more with one another.

"As girls we are shy to reach out to guys," she said. "It would be great if the bureau assigned (us as) pairs and enforced us to accomplish something together."

Still other tourists, most of them male, said it was impossible to feel romantic on a tour like this although the unique cultural experience was an eye-opener.

"How can you feel romantic if you do not already have a girlfriend to travel with you?" said Simon Morris, a 28-year-old from the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Milagros Gonzalez from Honduras suggested that the city would be better off positioning itself as historic rather than romantic.

"(A) city like Paris is what I would call romantic," said the 22-year-old. "I don't feel such ambiance here especially during a short and rushed trip."

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