Mon, Jan 19, 2009 - Page 2 News List

CONSUMER VOUCHERS: Local governments offer prizes to attract vouchers

UP FOR GRABS The Taichung County Government is offering a luxury apartment and the Changhua County Government will give away a plot of land or NT$6 million

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

If a luxury apartment, cash, gold, cars and computers fail to catch your attention, another item — a free year-long holiday to an uninhabited island in Taiwan’s outlying archipelago Penghu — has just been added to the list of prizes offered by local authorities to woo consumer spending ahead of the issuance of the government-supplied consumption vouchers.

Targeting the voucher-fueled shopping frenzy that is likely to follow the distribution of the vouchers, many local governments recently started a number of lucky draws to encourage consumers to use their vouchers in their jurisdiction in a bid to boost their local area’s sluggish economy.

In one example, the Penghu County Government recently announced that it was offering three lucky consumers the chance to spend two days and three nights per month for a period of one year on one of the archipelago’s uninhabited islands — Sianjiao island (險礁島), which became a tourist destination in recent years after the romance drama series The Plain Summer was shot there.

Each of the winners will be able to invite seven other companions, with the package covering ferry services, villa accommodation, romantic meals, waterside activities and cruises to the neighboring islands, Yeh Kuo-ching (葉國清), head of the county’s Economic Affairs Bureau, said.

Yeh said the county would provide prizes with a total value of NT$5 million (US$150,000) to consumers. Other prizes up for grabs would include cars, motorcycles and computers.

In other parts of the country, the Taichung County Government would be offering a luxury apartment worth NT$12.1 million as its top prize, while the Changhua County Government would give away a plot of land or NT$6 million in cash to the two winners of its special prizes.

The Taipei County Government, meanwhile, was touting consumers with a gold ingot weighing 100 taels and worth NT$3.5 million. The Chiayi County Government will offer a gold ingot weighing 30 taels worth NT$1 million.

The top prize in Taitung County was NT$1 million in cash, and that in Nantou County was a car worth NT$500,000.

Hsinchu City has prepared 1,000 Acer Aspire One notebooks as prizes, and in Taipei City, 1,000 VIP admission tickets to the new panda house at the Taipei Zoo will be up for grabs.

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