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Ma touts virtues of higher tourism quality to industry

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou encouraged the tourism industry recently to upgrade service quality and generate higher revenues with an aim to turning Taiwan into one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.

Ma, who was addressing a gathering at the 2013 Tourism Festival celebrations held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, also promised to try his best to help attract more tourists to various scenic spots in Taiwan, though he himself is unable to visit all of the destinations.

He made the remarks in response to an invitation from Transportation and Communications Minister Yeh Kuang-shih who urged Ma to visit the popular Alishan House located in the Alishan Forest Recreation Area.

Yeh said that but for President Ma all former national leaders had visited the upscale Alishan House.

Ma explained that he has not yet stayed at the hotel as he does not want to cause possible inconvenience to sightseers since his presence could bring traffic controls or security measures.

The president, however, stressed that he has personally visited many tourist sites over the years, including taking part three times in the cross-lake swim at the Sun Moon Lake in Nantou of Central Taiwan.

On a visit to the lake six years ago, Ma said, operators of yacht voyages told him that it was hard for them to find enough customers. But it is now an entirely different story, he said.

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