Tainan Wins 4th Government Service Award Thanks to City Government’s Successful Promotion of B&B Tourism Under Mayor Huang Wei-che’s Leadership
The “Government Service Award” is the top national award for administrative service and was established by the Executive Yuan to encourage continuous service improvements by government agencies throughout the country. The award highlights role-models for learning, promotes quality service and spurs quantum leaps in government services. It is known as the “Oscar’s” for government agencies. Tainan received the 4th Government Service Award in the social care category thanks to its successful mentoring of bed & breakfast development and the cultivation of front-line tourism industry through the “A Home Away from Home in Tainan - Old Town Bed & Breakfast Promotion Program.” The award ceremony was held at the National Taiwan University Hospital International Convention Center on December 14, 2021, with the awards being personally presented by Premier Su Chen-chang. Director-General Ms. Kuo Chen-hui and front-line employees from the Bureau of Tourism, Tainan City Government, were present to receive the award recognizing Tainan as Taiwan’s leader in B&B services. During his speech, Premier Su praised the Tainan City Government for overcoming legislative constraints to promote B&B tourism services, encourage the general public to visit Tainan, and revitalize the local economy.
Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che said that four centuries of history and culture has created an old town district filled with historic houses and old streets. The city has a strong, vibrant tourism sector and tourism is now one of the key engines for economic development. City Government’s licensing, growth management, marketing and promotion of old town B&Bs protected the safety and consumer rights of travelers. This provided the general public with a wide variety of accessible accommodation and spurred a new wave of investment and entrepreneurship in the B&B industry. Many outstanding government agencies throughout Taiwan were in the running for the award. The Bureau of Tourism, Tainan City Government, won the 2nd Government Service Award in the sustainable development and diversity services two years ago for its mentoring of the hot spring industry. At the 4th awards this year, the Bureau was once again recognized for its exceptional performance in the B&B industry. The city’s winning of two major awards by the hot spring and B&B industries over three years was no mean feat.
The promotion of old town B&B in Tainan City started by designating the old down district as “Twin Cities Tourism District” and “Culturally or Historically Significant Region.” Growth management and licensing mentoring were then introduced. Finally, qualitative and quantitative improvements were made in terms of B&B, marketing, and consumer accessibility to boost international competitiveness. Between 2017 and 2020, a total of 788,490 guests stayed at B&Bs and generated an estimated NT$2.4 billion in revenue in related industries. The proportion of youth applications jumped by 28% to 41% as well. Young people were successfully encouraged to join the B&B sector and inject new blood into the industry. In a first for Taiwan, B&B operators signed a covenant on B&B management to promote sustainable eco-tourism, maintain peace and quiet in the community, and strengthen their internal capability for disaster prevention and emergency response.
Director-General Kuo Chen-hui of the Bureau of Tourism said that Tainan City is home to the first and only tourism district in Taiwan. It now has a significant stock of urban B&Bs and this set the tone for future B&B developments as well. The setting of practical fire safety, building and B&B safety regulations/management covenants in an urban setting helps to protect the consumer rights of travelers and ensure safe accommodation. Statistics indicate that there were 293 licensed B&Bs in the old town between 2017 and 2020. The growth in B&Bs was therefore the highest of all six metropolises. In November 2021, Tainan City had a total of 706 B&Bs, the most of all metropolises as well. Local residents worked together to preserve the streetscape and refurbish old buildings. Protecting the environmental quality of the district helped to revitalize local arts, culture and industries. The use of unique old houses to offer a novel B&B experience filled with cultural creativity has become the signature of Tainan B&Bs. They also make perfect ambassadors for city diplomacy.