Fri, Jul 16, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Resort scrambles for customers after storm while some say that less is more

By Wang Hsiao-wen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Having been hit by Tropical Storm Mindulle, the famed Kukuan hot springs resort on the Central Cross-Island Highway is struggling to win back tourists, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.

Following an announcement last week by Lin Ling-san (林陵三), minister of Transportation and Communications, that the section of the highway between Kukuan and Dongshi would be open for single-lane traffic by the end of the month, local hotel managers rushed to offer package tours to potential visitors.

Some hotels in Kukuan that escaped unscathed from the Dajia River's flooding have decided to offer packages for NT$1000 for accommodations from tomorrow till the end of the month.

According to Chang Min-jen (張明仁), head of the Kukuan Community Development Association, the deals are part of local efforts to revive the economy after Mindulle damaged the highway and paralyzed tourist activity.

However, dangling the carrot of cheap prices is just a stopgap measure to alleviate financial difficulties that the locals face.

"We have too many hotel managers eyeing only short-term benefits and ignoring the long-term impact on the environment, on which their livelihood eventually depends.

"For example, family-run inns have sprouted up all over the place recently, but few of the operators see a clear picture of their future," said Tseng Kuo-chi (曾國基), director of the bureau's domestic tourism division.

According to Tseng, ideas about tourism need to be changed. "The Kukuan area is already overdeveloped. We should highlight tourist services rather than building more concrete facilities to attract visitors," Tseng said.

"What we need to push is ecological tours in mountainous areas. If we train locals to act as guides on ecological tours, they will get better pay and visitors will better understand what surrounds them. Ecological tours will benefit both locals and the environment," Tseng said.

This story has been viewed 3115 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top