Taipei, March 5 (CNA) Taichung in central Taiwan is aiming to become a cycling city and to this end, will seek to build stronger ties with Ehime Prefecture in Japan, which is credited with having one of the best routes in the world, a city official said Sunday.
Taichung and Ehime both have the resources to promote cycling tourism, Chen Sheng-shan (陳盛山), head of the Taichung Tourism and Travel Bureau, said at city hall at the start of a six-day tour by a cycling team from Ehime.
Chen said Taichung is home to Giant Manufacturing Co., one of the world's biggest bicycle brands, while Ehime has the famous Setouchi Shimanami Kaido route, which has been dubbed by CNN as the Holy Land of Cyclists.
By building deeper cooperation with Ehime, he said, Taichung could also sell itself as a cycling city that offers attractions and easy access for cyclists, he said.
This will include domestic and international cycling competitions and trade fairs for the relevant industrial sectors, Chen said.
He indicated that the foundation is already in place for forging closer links with Ehime as the Association of Giant Cyclists is often invited to participate in the prefecture's biennial Cycling Shimanami festival, while Ehime cyclists are currently undertaking a round-the-island tour of Taiwan.
The tour is expected to end on March 10 in Taichung.
(By Wu Jhe-hao, Chao Li-yen and Elizabeth Hsu)