CIP’s first abo­rig­i­nal vil­lage tour of year slated for June 6, to high­light cul­ture, life­style

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY MEGAN VAN VEGTEN

The Coun­cil of In­dige­nous Peo­ples’ (CIP, ) first abo­rig­i­nal vil­lage tour of the year is set to em­bark on June 6.

The pro­gram’s goal is to ac­quaint tourists with the tra­di­tional cul­ture and life­styles of abo­rig­i­nal peo­ples, ac­cord­ing to the CIP.

The coun­cil pro­moted its abo­rig­i­nal tour con­cept at a press con­fer­ence at Taipei Rail­way Sta­tion last Fri­day. Trial tours to abo­rig­i­nal vil­lages de­buted last year.

Lin Chi­ang-i ( ), min­is­ter of the CIP, said that this year the coun­cil has part­nered with the Tai­wan Rail­ways Ad­min­is­tra­tion (TRA, ), which will of­fer char­ter trains that take tourists di­rectly to Hualien County.

Trains are the most eco-friendly mode of public trans­porta­tion, Lin said, adding that the char­ter trains ar­rive di­rectly in Hualien County and will boost re­gional tourism by eas­ing trans­porta­tion dif­fi­cul­ties.

The trains will en­able vis­i­tors to spend more time in the tribes to truly ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture, lo­cal cul­ture, tra­di­tional foods and ac­com­mo­da­tion, as well as to in­ter­act with lo­cal peo­ple.

The TRA will pro­vide a six­car, 236-seat Tze-Chi­ang Limited Ex­press ( ) for tour pur­poses. Start­ing from June 6, the train will de­part each Satur­day from Taipei and re­turn from Hualien on Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to train of­fi­cials. The char­ter trips will run for one year.

From July to Au­gust, the TRA will of­fer ad­di­tional pas­sen­ger ca­pac­ity to meet in­creased de­mand dur­ing abo­rig­i­nal fes­ti­val sea­son, the CIP said.

It is im­por­tant “to re­spect the tribe, to not in­ter­fere with vil­lage life and the vil­lage essence,” stressed CIP of­fi­cials.

The CIP said the tours are a part­ner­ship be­tween the com­mer­cial tourism in­dus­try and abo­rig­i­nal vil­lages: Tour agents di­rect vis­i­tors to the vil­lages while vil­lagers pro­vide tourism ser­vices.

This model may help en­cour­age young abo­rig­ines to re­turn to their vil­lages, de­velop lo­cal busi­nesses and pro­mote tourism in­fra­struc­ture, the CIP said.

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