Fri, Mar 27, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Sun Moon’s cable car to open in July

PARKING PROBLEMS The system has been underwritten by the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village and will carry visitors between the village and the main lake area

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A cable car system at Sun Moon Lake will open in July to help ease parking problems at the popular resort area, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.

Tseng Kuo-chi (曾國基), director of Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration, said the cable car system was a build-operate-transfer project funded by the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, an amusement park in Yuchi (魚池), Nantou County.

Tseng said the system would carry visitors between the park and the lake, a distance of 1.78km. The system will shorten the travel time between the park and the lake from 25 minutes to 10 minutes, he said.

Tseng said park would conduct a final inspection of the system in May and start trial operations in June. Should everything go as planned, the cable car system could open in July, he said.

The Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village purchased 96 cable cars, each of which can carry six to eight passengers at a time, he said, so the system would be able to transport 3,000 passengers per hour.

Ticket prices need to be approved by the Nantou County Government. Formosan has proposed a round-trip ticket be priced between NT$150 and NT$200, while visitors buying tickets to the culture village would pay just NT$50 more to take the cable car.

The cable car system would help ease the parking problem in one of the nation’s most popular attractions, Tseng said, where parking space was at a premium.

The Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration has proposed visitors riding the cable system during the trial period receive a discount. It is also considering holding wedding ceremonies in a cable car for couples scheduled to be married around that time.

Meanwhile, Tseng said that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Sun Moon Lake has topped 3,000 per day.

Restaurants and tour boats in the area have reported business grew between 20 percent and 30 percent in January and February, compared to the same period last year.

The hotel industry, however, has only reported a 10 percent increase in business.

“Hotels in the Sun Moon Lake area have higher room prices and are mostly booked by local visitors,” Tseng said.

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