Wed, Jun 27, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Tourism bureau plans theme park `Summer Carnival'

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

To boost traffic through theme parks, the tourism bureau is planning a "Summer Carnival," with special events and discounts at parks across the country.

The carnival will take place in Taichung this Saturday and in Kaohsiung next Sunday.

Tseng Kuo-chi (曾國基), director of the tourism bureau's domestic travel division, said yesterday that theme parks would contribute the proceeds from a limited number of discounted tickets and hospitality coupons to charity. The money would be donated to the Down Syndrome Foundation, he said.

At the press conference yesterday, representatives from 30 parks participating in the carnival outlined some of the special events they planned to offer.

The Leofoo Village Theme Park put on a demonstration of Samba dance and Brazilian Jujitsu -- a martial art.

The parks had also brought along their mascots, who nearly got into a fight when they were asked to stand together on a small stage.

Tseng said approximately 15 million tourists visited the country's theme parks last year, generating revenue in excess of NT$6.5 billion (US$197 million). Close to 70 percent of visits took place during summer, Tseng said.

Tseng said many operators had invested a tremendous amount of money in water-sports facilities in the hope of attracting more visitors during the hot weather.

Tseng added that attendance at theme parks had declined by 10 percent to 15 percent during the first half of the year.

Twenty-four parks are certified by the tourism bureau, while six others had applied for certification, Tseng said.

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