At Badouzi Fishing Port today (20th), the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) co-organized the yachting promotional event "Yachtmania" in collaboration with Keelung City Government. Although the sea voyage was cancelled due to the unfavorable marine meteorological conditions, many yacht enthusiasts joined the event and attended the Night of Yacht Owners. Attendees included Yeh Hsieh-Lung, Director-General of MPB; Zheng Yong-Yang, Department of Economic Affairs, Keelung City Government; Shi Yu-Ren, secretary of the legislative office of Legislator Tsai Shih-Ying; and You Ri-Xing, Chairman of the Keelung District Fishermen's Association. Together, they revealed that the number of yachting license holders in Taiwan has passed 18,000, expressed hopes that a growing number of citizens will take part in yachting in the future, and called on license holders to often engage in yacht activities to contribute to the sustainable development of Taiwan's yachting industry.
The newly appointed Director-General of MPB Yeh Hsieh-Lung pointed out that Taiwan has abundant resources in maritime tourism. To familiarize the public with the fun of yachting, the MPB has been holding promotional events for 7 consecutive years, hoping in doing so to enhance the public's understanding of yachts and to encourage their engagement in recreational yacht activities. This year, the Badouzi Fishing Port is chosen as the venue for the event firstly because gulf stream conditions in the port area of Badouzi is favorable and surrounding areas are sufficiently developed, thus forming a berth that has always been highly rated by yacht enthusiasts. Secondly, it is hoped that Badouzi's proximity to scenic spots such as Keelung Islet and Chaojing Bay can add to the local charm of the event.
Director-General Yeh also pointed out that yachting should play a more important role in Taiwan's maritime tourism in the post-COVID-19 era as a superb recreational activity that brings people closer to the ocean, offering access to marine life and environment in greater proximity. For this reason, and under the guidance of policies including the Executive Yuan's Ocean Taiwan and the MOTC's ten-year plan for blue highways, the MPB will prioritize the promotion of yachting and work towards transforming it into a major feature of Taiwan's tourism industry.
The Yachtmania event today offered full access to the sea's infinite charms. In addition to a wide array of artistic and cultural performances, the MPB used banners and signal flags to decorate the port and berth, creating surroundings that instantly transported attendees to one of the renowned ports of the world as they paced the event site and immersed themselves in the lovely sight and atmosphere. Participants remarked that it was extremely exciting to witness the attractive sight of a port area filled with yachts, and expressed a wish to purchase their very own yachts someday.
The MPB especially invited local shop owners, sellers of yacht-related equipment, and vendors of local delicacies to exhibit and sell their products, creating an extraordinarily lively ambiance at the event. Limited offers such as "buy fried sea food and get free beers" and "gelidium jelly drink and boiled squid" were also available at the event, attracting crowds and boosting local businesses.
Although the much-anticipated sea voyage was cancelled this time, yacht enthusiasts still flocked to Night of Yacht Owners, a rare opportunity for interaction and exchange hosted by the MPB. Zhong Ming-Hua, Chairperson of the Keelung City Sailing Association, pointed out that yacht-related industries are gradually emerging and blossoming with the MPB's continued efforts in promoting yachting activities, and thanked the MPB for pushing forward Taiwan's yachting industry which Zhong believes will grow into a formidable presence on the international stage in the near future.
This time, the Civil Service Ethics Office of MPB also set up anti-corruption promotion booths to enhance public awareness and support of anti-corruption policies. The booth not only included a promotional banner of the anti-corruption service hotline and a canvas featuring the slogan "Ports of Integrity and Competency Safeguard Taiwan," but also offered games such as prized anti-corruption quizzes and puzzles. Participants had a chance to win prizes if they could answer randomly chosen questions related to government integrity according to the game rules and complete the puzzles on time. The participants were very enthusiastic during the event at which the concepts of government integrity were conveyed to the public through lively interactions. The quizzes and games designed specifically for the event furthermore enhanced participants' understanding of government integrity and enabled them to recognize the importance of building a corruption-free government, thus building better awareness of the policies for ensuring government integrity and competency and shaping public consensus on zero corruption tolerance.