Bahrain to launch direct flights to Taiwan
Manama, June 2, 2013
Direct flights could soon be introduced between Bahrain and Taiwan as the Asian country begins a major push to attract eco-tourists, said a report.
A civil aviation agreement has already been signed between both countries, as business links continue to develop. Taiwan has also introduced a three-day visa system as part of efforts to attract visitors.
"We are working to overcome obstacles stopping tourism to Taiwan from this region," Bahrain's Taiwan Trade Mission representative Paul Y F Hsu. "One of which is lack of direct flights to Taipei," he stated.
"But Taiwan and Bahrain have signed a civil aviation agreement to enable mutual exchange of direct flights."
Around 200 Bahrainis visit Taiwan per year, mostly for business.
Around 9.3 million Taiwanese people also travel around the world every year and direct flights could bring many to Bahrain and the region, said Hsu.
"It could be good for local carriers as it will mean more visitors to the Gulf," he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Taiwan has nine national parks, six nature conservation areas, 21 nature reserves and 18 wildlife conservation areas and Gulf tourists are being encouraged to experience the country's bio-diversity in person.
A total of 28 hiking trails promoting eco-tourism have been established some of which run through some of the country's 200 mountains.
Three forest parks have also been established by Taiwan's Forestry Bureau, each covering an area of 1,000 hectares.
Taiwan's Forestry Bureau director-general Lee Tao-Sheng told the GDN during a visit to Taipei the aim of such parks was to highlight the importance of the environment and preserve nature.
"We have launched an afforestation programme in 2008, whereby until 2012 forest areas increased to 23,747 hectares," he said. "In 2016, we plan to have 11,488 hectares of new forest created."
The forests are also boosting Taiwan's economic growth with products made from forest materials growing in value from $330,000 per year to $66 million, according to government figures.
The country is also working to encourage eco-tourism with more green hotels being built near forests using eco-friendly materials, said Tao-Sheng.
Bicycle path networks and cyclist-friendly environments have also been created. "Eco-tourism is encouraged due to the huge biodiversity of nature in Taiwan," he said.
"Taiwan is leading the way in this and is promoting the need to protect forests," he added.-TradeArabioa News Service