Taiwan invites visitors to stay in govt office

TAIWAN’S Presidential Office in Taipei. Photo: AFP

FANCY spending the night in a presidential office? The unique accommodation is up for grabs in Taiwan, where authorities are rolling out the red carpet for visitors after the island’s tourism industry was hit by a Chinese ban on solo travellers.

“I invite you to visit Taiwan and experience the warmth and hospitality of the people here,” President Tsai Ing-wen said in an English video. “And while you are here, why don’t you be my guest and spend the night at this presidential office building?” Up to 20 international tourists will be picked to bed down in the 100-year-old Taipei landmark — free of charge. An invite to the daily flagraising ceremony is also to be had, if travellers can brave the 5.30 am start time.

“This programme is the first of its kind in the world and our goal is to show Taiwan’s freedom, democracy and openness,” said presidential spokesman Xavier Chang. Applicants for the programme need to be aged 20 or older, a non-Taiwan citizen and submit their travel plans and a ‘creative video’. The accommodation is expected to be available from October. – AFP