Small towns in Asia look to stray cats to lure in tourists
There are umpteen number of ways countries and local bodies promote tourism. Cat tourism is one such novel idea to help small town and rejuvenate local economies by promoting tourism. The idea was sprouted up in the heads of the six remaining students at a community school in the tiny island of Hujing off the coast of Taiwan. The students of the Hujing Elementary School got the idea from the success of other cat towns and islands in the region.
Another small coal mining village in Taiwan’s Rueifang District, once abandoned, is also attracting huge number of visitors to see the feline friends. The large number of stray cats that hang out around the village’s train station has become a major draw for tourists in the past few years. The locals even sell cat-shaped pastries to inspire the travellers who throng the area.There is also feline-inspired train station here.
Let’s have a look at the other such cat-inspired tourist destinations. The Kishi railway station at Wakayama in Japan has a calico named Tama serving as the station master. The 15-year-old Tama greets passengers from inside of station master’s office. The station features cat-inspired architecture, a cat-decorated cafe and a souvenir shop.
The world’s first cat cafe was opened in Taiwan in 1998, which are also popular in Japan. There are at least 39 such cat cafés in Tokyo alone and there Several cat cafés recently opened in Canada and the United States.
There is a cat museum opened at Kuching in Malaysia in 1993, which contains thousands of cat-related artifacts and memorabilia acquired from Kuala Lumpur’s National Museum.
There are two cat islands (neko-shima) in Japan – Aoshima in the Miyazaki prefecture and Tashirojima in the Miyagi prefecture. So, next vacation, which cat-inspired destination are you heading to?