Taiwan’s green island tourism: the green to the sight holds the dark of the past

  • Diego Felipe Caicedo Amaya Phd
Keywords: Difficult cultural heritage, white terror, dark tourism, ecotourism, sustainable tourism, commodification


This paper investigates the encounter of ecology with difficult cultural heritage sustainable perspectives of tourism on Green Island of Taiwan. Located in a privileged natural setting, the island attracts large numbers of visitors because of its high reputation as one of the best diving places in south East Asia. The beauty of the place contrast with a very different historical reality, the New Life Correction Center and Oasis Village stand still as reminders of human rights and a turbulent past where political prisoners were tortured, exiled and executed for years during the White Terror. The first aim was to survey the current state and recent developments of the island as an ecotourist destination, to later explore and weigh historical value with ecology by considering theoretical perspectives on dark tourism. The results explore commodification and ethical issues of violence, memory and ecology as dark-eco tourism examples and practices. Besides, this section reviews the historical value and the perception of the flow of tourists, victims of the “White Terror” and their interaction with tour guides on the television series of 1999 流離島影“我的錄島,” putting into perspective how an awareness of the difficult past has evolved periodically to the present ecological ethos. This paper also studies a process of “souveniring” and “kitschification” that is taking place on the island, to finally consider the sika deer paradoxical position as a tourist attraction. The study used a qualitative methodology based on multiple sources to collect data, the process integrates text-film analysis with ethnographic fieldwork that consisted on participatory observation and interviews.



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How to Cite
Caicedo Amaya, D. (2023, December 19). Taiwan’s green island tourism: the green to the sight holds the dark of the past. Journal of Tourism and Heritage Research, 7(1), 1-27. Retrieved from https://jthr.es/index.php/journal/article/view/524