- 更新時間:2021/04/20 11:52:43
March 30, 2021—Taiwan and Palau officially kicked off their bilateral COVID-19 travel bubble program today, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. The first group of tourists is scheduled to depart on April 1. This morning, Taiwan’s Embassy in the Republic of Palau and the Palau Visitors Authority co-hosted the “Taiwan-Palau travel bubble launch ceremony” at the 1F Plaza of the Shin Kong Life Tower. Among the many guests in attendance was Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) Minister Icyang Parod, who has visited Palau on four occasions.
Mr. Icyang shared his personal travel experiences during his visits to the beautiful and pure island country with a spectacular ocean view. His full speech is included below:
To President Whipps, and to all guests in attendance today, good afternoon! Alii (Palauan greeting)! First and foremost, I must say I am truly honored to be invited to promote the Taiwan-Palau travel bubble.
I and Palau have a long history. My first visit to Palau was in 2007, and I visited there three more times in the following years. In fact, I am probably one of the very few Indigenous people in Taiwan who have traveled there so many times. Therefore, trust me when I say that the Palauan people are the most hospitable bunch. Palau has a lot to offer both on land and in the ocean, so I thought I would share some of my own experiences to show you why you must visit Palau for yourselves.
First, the people of Palau belong to the Austronesian Family, just like the Indigenous peoples of Taiwan, and we share very similar languages and cultures. While conducting tourism promotion, the Palau Visitors Authority is also simultaneously preserving and increasing awareness of traditional local cultures and embodying the spirit of environmental sustainability—this is the same spirit and values that Taiwan’s CIP operates by in promoting its Indigenous tourism industry. In March 2019, I accompanied President Tsai on her official visit to Palau, during which a trip to the Airai Bai , or “Men’s Meetinghouse of Arai,” left a deep impression on me. There, I sat with traditional community leaders to learn about Palau’s history and culture. I think it was a perfect example of the successful integration of cultural tourism and cultural preservation.
My most recent visit to Palau was in late September, 2019. For this trip, I was particularly indebted to the Palau Visitors Authority for arranging a cultural tour of the island country for us. We rode a boat to the Milk Lake to try the volcanic mud spa, and then we headed towards the Rock Islands, where locals explained the history of their Austronesian ancestors’ migration and shared with us the most delectable Palauan dishes.
Even to this day, I still can’t quite forget the picture of Palau that’s so deeply imprinted on my heart, with its clear, blue ocean, its charming islands and coral reefs, its ever-pleasant weather, and most important of all, its warm and hospitable people. I sincerely hope that the travel bubble will allow more Taiwanese to witness the beauty Palau has to offer with their own eyes.
Finally, I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me here today. May good fortune and good health be with you all. Aray! Thank you!