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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Taiwan Cycling Tourism Coming Up Roses?


China Airlines, Tawan's flag carrier Airline, has stepped up to sponsor a float for the 2012 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California as part of the annual festivities surrounding the Rose Bowl. The float will be made to highlight Taiwan's cycling tourism; a major theme of the Ma administration's second term. 

The float draws on themes and images that have been frequently promulgated by the government in its bid to entrench tourism (especially cycling tourism) as a political and economic staple in Taiwan. 

The recurring themes of Taiwan as a cycling tourist's "paradise" have comprised much of the Tourism Bureau's propaganda over the last calendar year. 

Although I believe many of these claims are half-baked and not ready for sale, I do find it interesting in how well coordinated the government has been in targeting its audience and reinforcing a consistent message through disparate media streams. 

Although China Airlines is not directly owned by the ROC government, it is owned and managed by the China Aviation Development Foundation; a government owned aviation firm that falls outside of regular bureaucratic oversight. 

It seems touting tourism is about the only policy the Ma administration has been able to construct a coherent and constant message around despite its obvious political pitfalls as it undermines and replaces traditional patronage streams with risky and potentially untenable alternatives.

Decide for yourself. How does the pitch match the product?

Here is what they would like to sell: 

Cycling Through Paradise
Artistic Entertainment Services
Height: 35′
Width: 18′
Length: 55′
In celebration of Taiwan’s Cycling Festival, China Airline’s presents “Cycling Through Paradise”. The 2013 entry pays homage to the annual Taiwan Cycling Festival.
The goal behind the annual Taiwan Cycling Festival is to introduce the Taiwan cycling experience to people of Taiwan and to people overseas looking for new, healthy, and inviting travel destinations.Taiwan’s breathtaking landscape – oversized sea cliffs and densely forested mountains are best seen on two wheels. In recent years Taiwan has embraced the world of cycling with great enthusiasm and the creation of thousands of kilometers of cycling paths, including two round-the-island routes, and a host of other cycling friendly infrastructure projects. Some of the best cycling routes in the world pass through Taiwan’s beautiful scenery.
The deck of the float features swirling groupings of orchids, iris, roses and mums in brilliant colors creating the look of a crashing waterfall, magnificent palm trees and native architecture. Along for the ride are cyclists pedaling through the majestic landscape. China Airlines began its Rose Parade participation in 1987. This year’s entry will “wow” the crowd with its magnificent floral detail and cultural beauty!

Read more at 

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