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New National Palace Museum Plan to spur local tourism


I. Background

The National Palace Museum (NPM) is home to the most exquisite and comprehensive collection of ancient Chinese cultural relics and artifacts in the world. With a reputation as one of the globe's top four museums, it is a must-see destination for international visitors to Taiwan.

In 2018, the museum launched the New National Palace Museum Plan (2018-2023) to boost the development of Taiwan's tourism industry and set the lead for other museums in promoting cultural tourism. Five policy directions are included in the plan: engage public participation, connect with local communities, enhance the museum's professional capabilities, diversify the scope of exhibition contents, and raise the NPM's international competitiveness.

II. Create a world-class tourism site, promote cultural diplomacy

The plan will invest a total NT$10.1 billion (US$344.7 million) into hard and soft infrastructure and service quality at the NPM's northern and southern branches, including aesthetic improvements, exhibition innovation, event coordination, transportation links and international marketing. The NPM will also partner with local museums to jointly promote the industry and create a museum-centered tourism industrial chain in Taiwan.

When completed, the plan is expected to create value for the new NPM, enable international visitors to experience Taiwan's diverse cultures, and elevate the nation's global brand and image. Promoting Taiwanese culture to the world community is an exercise in cultural diplomacy that will open up more international space for Taiwan.

III. Spur tourism, consolidate museum tourism resources

The New National Palace Museum Plan comprises three subprojects:

♦ Renovation (expansion) of the Northern Branch
This subproject will renovate the museum's gallery environments, enhance and beautify landscapes and architecture, improve overall space quality, and upgrade the artifact collections environment including displays and tours. All of these efforts will create a world-class attraction to boost the NPM's international tourism potential.

♦ Construction of a national treasures restoration and exhibition hall at the Southern Branch
The national treasures hall, to be built within the 20-hectare museum area of the 70-hectare Southern Branch, will strengthen the museum's collection capabilities and restoration mission while also training art restoration personnel. The branch's gallery space will be expanded to accommodate international-level exhibitions including thematic exhibitions on Asia's cultural diversity, and provide restoration and experiential areas for the artifacts. The branch will also work with the local government to connect with local culture and businesses, capturing spillover benefits from the museum's tourism boom to help promote urban renewal, deepen central and southern Taiwan's artistic roots, and enrich cultural tourism resources in the Yunlin-Chiayi-Tainan region.

♦ Establishment of an international tourism online system for local museums
This subproject will create an international tourism assistance platform allowing museums throughout Taiwan to connect with one another and consolidate resources. With access to the NPM's tourism capabilities and resources, the museums will be able to improve their own international tourism services and facilities and together bolster the development of Taiwan's museum tourism industry. A marketing platform for cultural and creative products will also be established for local museums to collectively develop international markets and build a system showcasing Taiwan's cultural diversity.

IV. Conclusion

In an era of rapid innovation and relentless change, even the world's most renowned museums must pursue constant evolution to offer innovative services and stay competitive. After the completion of the New National Palace Museum Plan, the museum will be able to more effectively preserve and protect the nation's treasures and artifacts in its care, improve the quality of museum tours, and engage more of the public in arts education. These efforts will in turn spur the development of local culture, tourism and other industries to create mutual prosperity for the branches and their communities, while putting Taiwan's distinctive culture on display for the world to enjoy.

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