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KMT candidates propose tourism, transportation development

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Six Kuomintang (KMT) municipal candidates came to the weekly Central Standing Committee (CSC) meeting yesterday to promote their “three railways and four 'ports'” traffic policy that will offer “six-star” tourist experiences; President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, said that he is confident in the policy and is looking forward to the election results.

The CSC meeting began with an exchange of high-fives between Ma and the six municipal candidates, namely Nantou magistrate candidate Lin Ming-chen (林明溱), Chiayi magistrate candidate Wong Chung-chun (翁重鈞), Chiayi mayor candidate Chen Yi-zhen (陳以真), Taitung magistrate candidate Justin Huang (黃健庭), Pintung magistrate candidate Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) and Hualien magistrate candidate Tsai Chi-ta (蔡啟塔).

The six candidates then promoted their policies on local transportation and tourism development. Each of them noted that Taiwan has many natural and historical resources to help develop the tourist industry; yet, local governments are not putting these resources to good use.

The candidates referred to the problem of inadequate transportation. Each said that a well-planned traffic system is needed to promote local tourism. The magistrate candidates proposed the construction of three railways in Nantou, Pintung and Hualien counties.

Meanwhile, the four “ports,” which are Budai Harbor in Chiayi, as well as the Chiayi, Taitung and Hualien airports, were said to be in need of revitalization and new routes to attract more tourists, according to the candidates.

Ma said that the tourist industry has greatly changed Taiwan's landscape. Not only has the number of tourists increased from 3.71 million to 8 million per year since he became the president in 2012, but domestic tourism has also seen substantial growth.

For example, the tourist industry has brought Taitung County NT$20 billion in the past four years, and the business opportunities of tourism also helped to raise Nantou County's ranking of household income from 20th to within the nation's top 10 within five years, Ma said.

The president noted that transportation is vital to Taiwan's tourist industry. He said he is expecting that Taiwan can develop into a major tourist destination known for its high-quality travel.

In addition, Ma said that he believes the candidates' policy of developing tourism and transportation is correct, because the main tour sites such as Alishan and Taroko Gorge are in these regions. He also said he is confident that the candidates will win their respective elections. “The government will do its best to fulfill the candidates' policies,” Ma said.

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