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.