Taiwan Tourism Ad in London Raises Discussion

Taiwan Tourism Ad in London Raises Discussion
Taken by Roberta Migliore. Photo Credit:Yao Wen-chih's Facebook page

Translated and compiled by Shin-wei Chang

A Taiwan tourism ad in London depicting Taiwan folk cutlure has sparked heated discussions on the internet. Some commentators doubt if the Taiwanese local culture in the ad is an accurate representation, while others recognize the effort of the Tourism Bureau.

On May 2, Yao Wen-chih, legislator of the Democratic Progressive Party, posted a photo taken in London showing a double decker bus covered with an ad promoting tourism in Taiwan. Liberty Times Net reports, the ad depicts Taiwan’s traditional folk culture with figures of the Eight Inferno Generals.

In the post, Yao mentions that European tourists are rarely seen in Taiwan with only 250,000 Europeans out of five million visitors to the island last year. As a result, Yao says Europeans would be an important target audience for the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Roberta Migliore, who took the photo, says she lived in Taiwan a few years back. “It’s just a nostalgic feeling that let me take this picture and share it on my Facebook with my friends.”

Migliore adds that she loves and misses Taiwan very much, and “the picture doesn’t really show how beautiful the country is."

Negative reactions to the ad

Most of the people say the ad is too frightening to attract European tourists. They suggest using the image of Electric-Techno Neon Gods, as they appear to be cuter and friendlier. Others say the Tourism Bureau should use a photo of Taiwan’s natural scenery to attract European tourists.

Photo Credit:Remi DU@Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Electric-Techno Neon God. Photo Credit:Remi DU@Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Some criticize that the colors of the photo make the word “Taiwan" unclear and the characters actually read “The Sacred Officials" instead of “Eight Inferno Generals."

Some say they can only associate the temple fair culture with Taiwanese gangsters, so they doubt if the ad is an appropriate representation of Taiwanese culture.

Recognition of Taiwanese local culture

However, some praise the Tourism Bureau for promoting Taiwan’s traditional culture to the world.

Chen Ping-hung, the leader of the Sacred Officials Group, appreciates the bureau’s efforts in promoting Taiwanese culture. Chen says, he and his team are passionate about the Taiwan temple fair culture, in which The Sacred Officials and Eight Inferno Generals walk beside the Gods in a parade. Chen says that Taiwanese should pay mutual respect to different religions and work hard together to promote Taiwan’s culture.

One netizen says her British husband admires the ad, which makes him more willing to travel to Taiwan. In response to the suggestion to use Taiwan’s scenery as ads, some say European scenery is even more beautiful than Taiwan’s. As a result, only when Taiwan makes good use of its local culture in tourism ads can it distinguish itself.

Some also say Taiwanese should embrace their own culture instead of despising it.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Yao Wen-chih’s post
Liberty Times Net
UDN News