I’m thinking of starting an Adventure based biz here in Taiwan…for local People and the expat community…as i understand there is only one at the moment… www.freshtreks.com and as that new tunnel to Yilan opens…people are going to be flocking to Yilan…which is kinda the closest place to Taipei for outdoor stuff…
Any Ideas or comments??
I think it’s a great idea. Of course, coming up with great ideas is much easier than making them work. Provided you can do everything legally, I would say “Go for it!”
Well I have a succesful biz in Chiang Mai Thailand www.siamrivers.com we would want to do like a sister company…I have heard that you can open a “branch office” in Taiwan with little hassle…will be coming back in a few weeks and will check into it…
I’ll be interested to see where you go with this. The mechanics of setting up this kind of business will be - to put it lightly - ‘involved’, but this is one of the better ideas I’ve heard for a new Taiwanese startup. I personally think that Taiwan is crying out for a bigger tourism market and would love to see this become a hit.
[quote=“Siam Jason”]I’m thinking of starting an Adventure based biz here in Taiwan…for local People and the expat community…as I understand there is only one at the moment… www.freshtreks.com and as that new tunnel to Yilan opens…people are going to be flocking to Yilan…which is kinda the closest place to Taipei for outdoor stuff…
Any Ideas or comments??
Ilan is not the closest place for adventure. Wulai is. Pingin’s closer too. Sanxia. Fuxing. Etc. Hell, from my house in the southern part of the city I can be on a jungle trail in 5 minutes and walk for 8 hours without break.
Much of freshtreks business is local. If you plan to cater only to the expat community you will not do very well sorry to say. There are just not enough of us here, and there are already several free hiking and adventure clubs (of which I am part of one) for people interested in this kind of stuff. What can you offer that I can’t find or do on my own? Don’t mean this to sound snotty, just trying to give you something to think about.
On the other hand, if you get in before taiwan becomes another destination on the backpackers circuit then you could do well catering to newbies who don’t know the terrain or language. But then you don’t know these either which means you need to invest a fair amount of time and money here on the hopes that the place will take off.
This is something I’ve considered myself, on and off, for several years. But, for the following reasons decided against it:
- Taiwan, unfortunately, will never be a big tourist destination. Not even close. I mean think about it …how could it possibly compete with any of the other countries in Asia? It’s expensive, it’s dirty, the tourist facilities suck (ok, they’re improving…but very, very slowly), there’s the language barrier, and of course lack of world-class sites. Personally, I think the tourism bureau has their heads up their arses …promoting things like Taipei 101, Sun Moon Lake, and the Love River in Kaoshiung.
But that’s the reality…that’s about all Taiwan has to offer. Of course there’s the east coast, a real gem, so you’re right in that regard.
Weather - makes adventure travel very seasonal, especially if you want to do anything in the north of the island. Winter winds and rain turn into summer typhoons, like in the blink of an eye. Depending on what you’re doing, I think you’ll find a lot of weekends cancelled due to shitty weather. And if you’re not doing weekends, when are you making money?
Bureaucracy. If you’re at the point of starting a business, you know this one already. Not impossible, but formidable nonetheless. You’ll need lots of patience, perseverence, a local partner, and a truckload of cash.
Finally, maybe you should take FreshTreks as an example. He seems to have all the logistics in place…but how’s his business doing? Do you have any idea? From what I gather (from his website), he’s not exactly doing a booming business. Maybe it comes down to marketing. I don’t know.
My suggestion would be pick a niche, and be a specialist. Others are doing it - kayaking, paragliding, river tracing, rock climbing, etc.
Oh, and the other big one, if you can figure out how to get started is of course … SAILING. Keep your eyes on this one. Lots of potential.