Written by Tzu-Ming Liu. The outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly affected Taiwanese’ travel destination choices. One of the most significant changes is the recent boom of citizens’ participation in nature-based outdoor recreation. These changes have clear influences on the environment. Some are positive, and some are negative. This impact can be observed in Taroko National Park and Yushan National Park. However, for destinations that have been heavily impacted by tourism, such as Lanyu, the sudden tourist increase makes environmental problems much worse.
Written by Paulina G. Karimova and Kuang-Chung Lee. Discussion of resilience and adaptive capacity of Taiwan’s scenic rural areas has never been more pertinent than at the times of COVID-19. Over 2020-2021, these two seemingly academic terms have promptly secured their spot in local vocabulary (as 韌性 and 調適能力) and became an intrinsic part of hands-on local solutions.
Written by Viola van Onselen. Tourism can significantly burden the natural environment, such as developing hotels or campsites in fragile ecosystems, pollution, or noise disturbance. The fact that tourism leads to environmental degradation has led to sustainable or eco-tourism, a concept that aims to minimise the impact on the natural environment and maintain tourism over a long period in one area while educating tourists and benefitting the social, economic and natural environment.
Written by Ming-sho Ho. Sitting right at the fracture zone between Eurasian Plate and Philippine Sea Plate, Taiwan is an outgrowth of their incessant continental collision, thus making this island mountainous and ecologically rich. The Japanese archipelago shares a similar geological location. Still, Taiwan has ten times more peaks over 3,000 meters above sea level (268) than Japan, although the land size is only the latter’s one-tenth. From the tropical fluvial plain, one can drive through the temperate-zone mountain and reach the highest point of Taiwan’s highway (3,275 meters) in few hours, where flora and fauna are analogous to that in the frigid zone. Yet, until recently, most of the island residents did not have the opportunity to enjoy this natural heritage.
Written by Karl Chee Leong Lee. Despite lingering pessimism surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on Southeast Asia’s economy, Malaysia has unexpectedly enjoyed a new wave of Taiwanese investment. According to official figures released by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) last April, the value of inbound manufacturing-based investment from Taiwan has increased seven-fold. In 2019 Taiwan became the fourth largest FDI source for Malaysia’s manufacturing sector after China, the US and Singapore.
Written by Min-Hua Chiang. Despite economic shrinkage, the impact of COVID-19 on Taiwan’s economy is restrained compared to other countries. Singapore (-2.2%), European Union (-2.7%), USA (-4.8%), China (-6.8%) and Hong Kong (-8.9%) have reported a more significant drop in the first quarter of 2020. Taiwan’s success in controlling the spread of COVID-19 has minimized the impact of COVID-19 on its economy. As of May 11 2020, Taiwan reported 440 cases and seven deaths, lower than most other countries in the world.
Written by Min-Hua Chiang. Businesses and entertainers have been forced to adhere to the “One-China Policy”, and from 1st August 2019 Chinese nationals from 47 cities in China were prohibited to visit Taiwan on an individual basis. China’s new tourism restraint is another attempt to intimidate Taiwan.
Taiwanese officials estimated a reduction of NT$18,000 million (US$574 million) in tourism revenue and a fall of 0.1% GDP following China’s new tourism policy. Looking at the statistics in detail, the impact on Taiwan’s economy is limited.
Written by Perl Li. In light of the recent pressure China is exerting on Taiwan through tourism, I hope the Tourism Bureau will properly utilise its resources to improve its campaigns both to support the tourism economy as well as Taiwan’s international reputation.
Writen by Giulia Mengato. My research on Indigenous communities in Taiwan shows that the needs and wishes of Indigenous peoples are still considered secondary to those of government. I argue for a more nuanced approach wherein public institutions work alongside local people. Government restrictions should not suffocate community will and should not limit the agency of local people.
Written by Tzu-Ming Liu. The Tao/Yami ethnic group – who live in Lanyu (Orchid Island), an island located along the eastern coast of Taiwan – boast