Date: November 1, 2015
By: OSCAR CHUNG
Government initiatives and specialized package tours are facilitating the rapid growth of
the senior citizen tourism market.
On a gorgeous day in late October last year, the Baishawan area on the northern coast of Taiwan was bustling to an unusual degree with visitors advanced in years. As the temperature dropped and the young people who are often seen on the sands of Baishawan in summertime started to head elsewhere, 18 gray-haired tourists took their place, exploring a trail that was opened to the public at the end of 2013 by the North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area Administration under the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. “The path is easy to walk on, with no abrupt drops or stairs, which makes it perfect for seniors or those with disabilities,” says Chiu Hsuan-wei (邱宣瑋), a specialist in the administration responsible for promoting travel for the elderly and those with physical impairments.
In August 2012, the Tourism Bureau set up a task force consisting of public sector officials and representatives from nongovernmental organizations for the purpose of creating barrier-free environments within the 13 national scenic areas on Taiwan proper and its offshore islands. “Life expectancies are rising across the globe. By offering barrier-free access, we also hope to attract elderly people from abroad,” says Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰), deputy director-general of the Tourism Bureau. [FULL STORY]