New Southbound: Matsu aims to draw more tourists

Lienchang County Magistrate Liu Zeng-ying says the islands of Matsu are working on becoming more attractive to tourists. Liu was speaking in an interview with RTI on Thursday about how the county is supporting the New Southbound policy. That policy aims to strengthen ties with Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The outlying islands of Matsu are known as one of the front lines in the military conflict between Taiwan and China. Liu said in the past, it was an exotic and secretive place. Now, Matsu wants to attract more tourists to see its beautiful scenery and unique island culture. Liu highlighted facilities for Muslim visitors, in line with the policy’s outreach to nations in South and Southeast Asia.

Liu said, “We hope that Matsu can be international islands. We are working on this. Matsu is a special scenic area in our nation. The four towns and five islands all have visitor centers. We also have Muslim prayer rooms and facilities. We will continue to work on having a more friendly environment [for overseas visitors].”

Liu said Matsu boasts many unique B&Bs and is working on attracting investment in hotels. Visitors can fly direct to Matsu from Taipei or Taichung or take a ferry from Keelung.