North­east and Yi­lan Coast named fi­nal­ist in ‘ tourism’s No­bel’

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

North­east Tai­wan was re­cently named a fi­nal­ist in the Des­ti­na­tion Award cat­e­gory of the Tourism for To­mor­row Awards 2015 (2015

). The awards, which were an­nounced in Madrid on April 15, are known as the “No­bel prize in tourism,” ac­cord­ing to the North­east and Yi­lan Coast Na­tional Scenic Area Ad­min­is­tra­tion (

). Fea­tur­ing heav­ily in the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s bid in the awards is the Old Caol­ing Trail Cir­cleLine Bike­way (

) in Fu­long ( ). The trail, Tai­wan’s first and only con­tes­tant in the Des­ti­na­tion Award, emerged from the com­pe­ti­tion of 158 nom­i­nees from 57 coun­tries and re­gions world­wide.

Slove­nia’s cap­i­tal city Ljub­jana took the award while the North­east and Yi­lan Coast and Bulgar- ia’s So­zopol are listed as fi­nal­ists. The Old Caol­ing Tun­nel (

) , now known as the Old Caol­ing Trail Cir­cle- Line Bike­way, was orig­i­nally 2.167 kilo­me­ters in length and was con­structed dur­ing the Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion of Tai­wan. Due to the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of rail­ways and the un­us­able sin­gle track, a newer tun­nel was con­structed in 1986, and the old tun­nel was aban­doned for nearly two decades un­til it was re­opened in 2009 as a tourist bik­ing trail.

Through years of ef­fort, the ad­min­is­tra­tion trans­formed the tun­nel into the charm­ing, ren­o­vated bik­ing trail it is to­day, in­ex­tri­ca­bly bind­ing lo­cal his­tory and cul­ture with its long, wind­ing path. The Old Caol­ing Trail also kick-started the eco­nomic growth of Fu­long, en­cour­ag­ing its lo­cal busi­nesses to grow by paving the way for en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly tourism and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.

The China Post photo

(Top) The Old Caol­ing Trail Cir­cle-Line Bike­way ( ) looks out over beau­ti­ful scenery. The bike­way was re­opened by the North­east Coast and Yi­lan Na­tional Scenic Area Ad­min­is­tra­tion (

) in 2009, en­abling tourists to feast their eyes on the coasts of North­east­ern Tai­wan while en­joy­ing bik­ing at the same time. (Above) Tourists cy­cle through the Old Caol­ing Trail Cir­cle-Line Bike­way (

), orig­i­nally a rail­way path, as shown in this photo taken in 2013. For­merly known as the Old Caol­ing Tun­nel, it was ren­o­vated as a tourist bik­ing path and opened for tourists to walk and cy­cle along in 2009.

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