The Taipei City Government yesterday said it would redouble its efforts to help establish youth hostels around the city after a councilor pointed to a serious dearth of hostels for backpackers.
As the capital city, Taipei is a major tourist destination and the promotion of tourism has been a priority for the city government, New Party Taipei City Councilor Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) said.
However, there are only three youth hostels in the city registered under the Taiwan Youth Hostel Association, she said.
“There are many unregistered youth hostels in Taipei and the city government should take the initiative to encourage the legalization of youth hostels and establishment of affordable hotels,” Wang said.
Fifty percent of the registered small hotels with 15 rooms or less were set up before 1980, she said, while more than 50 youth hostels are not authorized by the city government.
“The city government should encourage the development of large hotels to promote local tourism. It cannot continue to ignore the demand from backpackers for affordable accommodations such as youth hostels,” she said.
According to the city’s Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei has 31 hotels that offer affordable accommodations at about NT$1,000 per night, and the city government plans to set up international hostels to offer an affordable and quality environment for local and foreign tourists.
The first city-operated youth hostel in Taipei will be located on the second floor of Shuanglian Market near the Shuanglian MRT Station. The 33-year-old market is a four-story building, with the first floor and underground floor housing food stalls and a wet market.
Ding Juo-ting (丁若亭), director of Taipei City’s Market Management Office, said the office planned to turn the second floor of the building, which had been vacant since 1996, into a youth hostel equipped with between 70 and 80 rooms, or 160 beds, with each room costing about NT$1,400 per night.