Taiwan and Southeast Asia are moving closer together. Through trade and investment, cultural exchanges, and even migration and intermarriage, ties are growing all the time. In the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, it is tourism that’s driving these closer ties. Taiwanese officials are working to tap into the local tourism market, and officials in Sarawak are looking equally to make their home a destination of choice for visitors from Taiwan. Last week, a delegation from Sarawak stopped by RTI’s studios. I sat down with three of the group’s members to talk about tourism.
In last week’s program, we discussed Sarawak’s ethnic and religious mix- one of the state’s big attractions. We also talked about Taiwan’s efforts to attract Muslim visitors- an important topic for a place like Sarawak, with its large Muslim population. This week, we return to our interview to look at what else Taiwan must do to bring in tourists from Sarawak. We’ll also be hearing our guests’ pitch for Sarawak tourism and the reasons they think Taiwanese people should visit. Finally, we’ll be hearing about what Sarawak has learned from Taiwan’s efforts to play up local flavor to visitors, from its indigenous cultures to its Hakka heritage.