Los Angeles, April 26 (CNA) Taiwan’s booth at the just-concluded Los Angeles Times Festival of Books attracted lots of attention from visitors from around the United States, many of whom were eager to resume traveling after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s Los Angeles office.
As one of the nation’s largest literary event, the annual festival usually attracts about 150,000 people every April at the University of Southern California (USC).
This year, it was held on April 23-24, featuring hundreds of exhibitors who filled the USC campus.
However, due to the pandemic, the event was held virtually in the past two years.
While the bureau usually runs a booth at the book festival to promote Taiwan tourism, for this year’s festival, the bureau’s Los Angeles office teamed up with the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, and the Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning.
Shih Chao-hui (施照輝), the head of the bureau’s LA office, said that this year’s book festival showcased books and publications covering a range of areas such as travel and tourism, gardening, and delicacies, attracting visitors of all ages.
As the COVID-19 pandemic slows down in the United States, many Americans are eager to resume international travel, Shih noted.
Several American exhibitors from the tourism industry also promoted tailored travel itineraries, and expressed hope that Taiwan will open its border to international travelers, according to Shih.
Centered around the theme “Literature and Migration: Flowing Across Words,” the Taiwan booth showcased the English versions of Taiwanese literary works such as The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-yi (吳明益), as well as Running Mother and Sailing to Formosa: A Poetic Companion to Taiwan by Guo Song-fen (郭松棻).
Many visitors to the booth had either been to Taiwan or an interest in Asian culture, according to Chien Teh-yuan (簡德源), the head of the Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, who discussed stories in the booth’s books with several visitors.
You Shu-min (游舒閔), a Taiwanese student at USC, was drawn to the Taiwan booth by a volunteer dressed in a Formosan black bear costume, and said she felt at home due to the kiosk’s promotion of Taiwan tourism and culture.
Another booth visitor, a young woman who has traveled to Taiwan, said she had been impressed by the food and people in Taiwan as well as its stunning scenic attractions such as the beaches in Kenting in the southernmost county of Pingtung.
A young father with a Taiwanese background pushing his baby in a stroller said he was looking to take his child who had not been to Taiwan to visit the homeland of his parents after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
(By Lin Hung-han and Evelyn Kao)
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