Wed, Jan 12, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Travel agencies in Taipei offer lunar holiday tours

SIGHTSEEING A total of 21 special packages -- all departing from the capital -- have been put together by Taipei Domestic Tour Promotion Center officials

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Are you worried about how to observe the week-long Lunar New Year holidays without having to make a big dent in your savings? Taipei's 20 travel agencies have put together 21 domestic tour packages featuring famous scenic spots nationwide, industry representatives said at a press conference yesterday.

As local tours during the Lunar New Year account for 20 percent to 30 percent of annual tour output, the agencies have pooled resources to present high-end tour packages including hot springs, amusement parks and five-star hotel accommodation at cheaper-than-normal prices, said Samuel Peng (彭培興), chief executive officer of Taipei Domestic Tour Promotion Center, coordinator of the 20 agencies.

Established in December 1997, the center has put together tour packages for every season under the guidance of the Tourism Bureau and the Taipei Association of Travel Agents.

The Lunar New Year holiday starts as early as Feb. 5 for some people and ends on Feb. 13, so the industry sees this time as a golden week to boost domestic tourism.

"There's more than we can imagine about Taiwan's natural beauty for us to explore," Peng said.

The new promotions range from one-day tours to three-day trips and all include a tour guide.

"By joining with us, tourists don't have to worry about traffic jams, price hikes and difficulty in booking hotel rooms," he said.

Experienced mountain climbers might be interested in a three-day Hsuehshan tour that will take participants from Taipei to Luodong in Ilan County before advancing to Hsuehshan on the third day, weather permitting. Starting from Taipei Train Station, the NT$4,850 per person package includes tour bus tickets, six meals and two-nights accommodations.

Those who fancy the east coast's spellbinding landscapes can choose three-day tours to Hualien's Ocean Park, including visits to Taroko National Park, Chaofeng Farm and an Amis tribe's exhibition center.

Two-day trip offerings include Hsinchu's Saint Park, Nantou's Chingjing Farm and the Qilan forest park in Ilan.

The travel agencies have not forgotten those people with busy schedules. One-day tours are planned to Gongguan Township, Miaoli County, dubbed the "golden town" and renowned for its fruit.

With more than 1,500 spaces available on the tours, interested people can contact the promotion center through its toll-free number (0800-079668) for more details.

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