Wedding photos endear Taiwan to overseas couples | Reuters

TAIPEI (Reuters Life!) - Alan Chen and his fiancee Chan Mei-ling of Hong Kong are spending nearly $3,000 plus travel bills on a 3-day pay a visit to to Taiwan for some thing they could have accomplished at residence: get their wedding ceremony photos taken.

The thirty-year-old groom and 27-12 months-old bride, like 1000's of couples from overseas, have picked Taiwan for scenic, posed pre-wedding photos, which are traditional for ethnic Chinese worldwide, simply because of the island's mountain and coastal scenery.

"I have a great deal of close friends who came right here to get images, as Taiwan is supposed to be pretty," Chen stated as he and his fiancee examined outfits this week at a Taipei studio that would take them to a backdrop along the hilly north coast a day later.

"It really is the exact same price tag as in Hong Kong, you just include airfare and a hotel," Chen explained.

Hong Kong couples make up half of the 250 brides and grooms who tourism officials say come to Taiwan each month for images, taking benefit of 1,300 organization-hungry studios that provide clothing, flowers, album covers and transportation to venues.

Other folks come from Malaysia, Singapore and Chinese communities in the United States.


Taiwan's wedding photo sector, which has done promotions at exhibitions overseas considering that 2005, reported revenues of about $300 million in 2006, according to the government-run Taiwan Journal.

If Taiwan opens to Chinese vacationers, most of whom are now stored out due to visa overstay fears and political safety worries, organizations anticipate a surge in demand for photographs.

China has claimed sovereignty above self-ruled Taiwan given that 1949, when Mao Zedong's Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists fled to the island.

Beijing has threatened to use force against the island, if needed, even BALI WEDDING PACKAGE more chilling relations.

But the Taipei-based mostly Saromant International Wedding ceremony Photo Group chain will signed with a Beijing firm next month to send about 5,000 couples from China for wedding photos pending a broader tourism agreement, explained Saromant CEO Celine Liu.

China and Taiwan are expected to get started negotiating the broad agreement in June.

"Without having mainland China vacationers, this company is acquiring tougher and harder," Liu explained. "Due to the economy, Taiwan men and women want to invest more and more tiny funds on pictures."

Wedding tourists can pick coniferous forests in the Yangmingshan mountain range, ocean cliff sunsets and old Chinese architecture as backdrops. Costs average T$50,000 to T$60,000 (about $one,500 to $two,000) for photo packages.

"Taiwan is not a massive area, but its assortment is enormous," mentioned Chao Kwang-shoung, global affairs deputy director with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. "We have received natural landscapes."

But studio operators say Hong Kong couples are finding comparable scenery across their border on the south coast of mainland China, while Chinese can get less costly pictures at property.

"In the quick run, I don't have such a rosy outlook (on China)," explained Lee Fang-chi, assistant manager at Correct Really like Photo Wedding in Taipei, the place 6 in seven consumers are from Taiwan. "Our service business will not open so rapidly."


(Editing by Miral Fahmy)