Delegates from Taiwan visit Saline County
A typical “small" community in Taiwan houses nearly 1,000, so imagining a village such as Arrow Rock would baffle many of those residents."They were always very concerned about a town the size of Arrow Rock, and how it would be able to survive," said Kathy Borgman, president of Friends of Arrow Rock.
Borgman and Cynthia Crawford with MU Extension have traveled to Taiwan to exchange ideas about tourism with Chao-Hsing Huang, a former master’s student from the University of Missouri. He discovered Arrow Rock while attending MU, and since then he has looked to it for insight about how to improve tourism in Taiwan.
“Back home people say we have too few resources," he said. “I invited Kathy to come and show how much you can do with few people."
Borgman and Crawford traveled to Taiwan to speak about tourism in Marshall and other areas in Saline County. This week, Chao-Hsing Huang and his colleague Chen Yuhsin toured Saline County on Aug. 1 and 2. They visited a variety of sites such as the courthouse and Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Garden.
Among their many stops during their short visit was the Kiwanis Club. Yuhsin addressed the club members in Mandarin Chinese and Chao-Hsing translated. She applauded the club for all they do for the community, and said she looks forward to taking methods, such as the humbleness of the gathering space, back to her country.
“We found there are more similarities than differences, and we need to learn from each other," Crawford said.A decline in manufacturing has encouraged those in Taiwan to invest in tourism. Due to this partnership, the Huang said the people inTaiwan know about the Village of Arrow Rock, even though the small town has less than 80 residents. He greatly admires the dedication Arrow Rock residents have for their community.
“You have more organizations than our villages of 1,000," he said.
Although Taiwan is known for its tea, the Japanese planted several coffee plants during a period of occupation. Inspired by Arrow Rock, the Taiwanese people began local advertisement for their Coffee Road.
The community capitalized on this piece of history and has developed an orange and coffee festival, which attracts more visitors with each passing year.
“We certainly have learned a lot from you, and we will bring it back home," he said.