Gastrodiplomacy promoted by Mayor Huang: Tainan to roll out multilingual menus for international tourists
Tainan is launching multilingual menus this year to boost tourism. Since 2017, Tainan City Government has been promoting a bilingual menu program (Mandarin and English) and this year, the new initiative will include more languages to introduce Tainan’s dazzling variety of food to more tourists. The city government plans to work with 50 Tainan-based restaurants and eateries and helps translate their menus into English, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. By launching multilingual menus, the city government hopes to encourage more international tourists to visit Tainan and enjoy food. On the other hand, local restaurants and eateries can also avoid losing foreign customers due to language barrier, leading to a win-win situation for both the restaurant owners and incoming tourists.
According to Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists coming to Taiwan has dropped significantly this year. However, the city government decided to take this opportunity and optimize the quality of tourism services before travel restrictions are lifted. Working with local businesses, the city government will help them translate menus into different languages so that local restaurants and eateries can overcome the barrier of language. With these menus, visitors can not only enjoy the delicious food, but also have a deeper understanding of Tainan’s culture, proving the effectiveness and importance of gastrodiplomacy.
The new initiative will assist businesses to publish multilingual menus. The design of the menus, however, will be executed by the businesses to ensure the best quality and style. The translated menus will also be updated on the official Travel Tainan website. By offering such online resources, the city government hopes to incentivize businesses not in this initiative to make their own multilingual menus. International tourists can also use this website to learn about Taiwanese cuisine.