Wed, Oct 13, 2010 - Page 2 News List

New campaign devised to promote local tourism

DRUMMING UP CUSTOM:Hoteliers are not obligated to take part in the competition and some well-known five-star hotels, such as the Lalu Hotel, have declinedcases of dengue fever were reported over the last week, the most new cases in a single week this year

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Operators of the nation’s regular tourist hotels and guesthouses will have a chance to showcase their services thanks to a new campaign organized by the Tourism Bureau to find the best hotels and guesthouses in the nation

Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said she hoped the campaign would generate discussion about people’s experiences, adding that this was also an opportunity for operators to introduce their services to the public and for customers to discover special guesthouses.

“Aside from tours, accommodation is also an important part of any traveling experience,” Lai said. “We want hotel and guesthouse owners to tell their own stories, whether it’s about the food they serve or the most creative service they offer.”

Starting today, participants in the campaign can upload videos or photos introducing their hotels or guesthouses to the campaign’s Web site. They have also been invited to describe their service in a short message.

As part of efforts to identify the nation’s top 100 hotels and guesthouses, the bureau said that from Nov. 12 through Dec. 12, the public would be invited to vote online and the results will account for 40 percent of the overall evaluation.

Yang Yeong-sheng (楊永盛), director of public relations at the bureau, said the second round would select 10 finalists from the 100 — 50 hotels and 50 guesthouses — that were chosen in the first round.

The bureau has hired an IT firm to help remove videos uploaded by hotels and guesthouses not registered with the Tourism Bureau or local governments, Yang said.

In the final round, which will account for the remaining 60 percent of the evaluation, an independent panel composed of writers, travel agents, bloggers, university professors and bureau officials, will review the 100 finalists. Each will be evaluated using several criteria, including meals, innovation and friendliness, Yang said.

However, unlike the bureau’s competition for night markets held earlier this year, where judges were asked to pretend to be customers when evaluating the competitors, Yang said the experts would limit themselves to reviewing information provided by the Tourism Bureau or local governments, unless special circumstances require them to visit the establishment in person.

Yang said hoteliers were not obligated to take part in the competition and some well-known five-star hotels, such as the Lalu Hotel, have chosen not to participate, he said.

The bureau will announce the final result next year, when the top five hotels and top five guesthouses will have been chosen. Each will receive a NT$50,000 prize.

Jack Wu (武祥生), general manager of the Cesar Park Hotel in Kenting (墾丁), said hotels and guesthouses can both provide heartwarming experiences.

“Customers staying in a guesthouse can be touched simply by a smile from the owner. When they stay at a hotel, however, they tend to evaluate the service collectively offered by the hotel staff,” he said.

According to bureau statistics, the nation has about 2,600 regular tourist hotels — which generally means three stars or less. It also has 101 international tourist hotels and about 3,000 legal guesthouses.

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