Sat, Jan 14, 2012 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Tourism sector predicting post-election travel surge

TIME OUT:Industry insiders said post-poll fatigue might spur a travel boost, especially in the domestic sector, as voters seek a break after months of intense campaigning

Staff Writer, with CNA

Tourism insiders yesterday said they expect the travel market to surge after today’s elections as people might want to shake off the anxiety they have experienced during months of heated political campaigns.

Travel Agent Association -secretary-general Roget Hsu (許高慶) said the industry is looking at a sales increase of at least 20 percent after the polls.

“Our past experience shows that whenever there was an election, regardless of its scale, sales jumped significantly afterward,” Hsu said.

Travel Quality Assurance Association commissioner Hung Tien-ching said local hotels and amusement parks are most likely to benefit from the potential rush.

Since people may be thinking about an easy, short vacation to help them relax, Hung said, any post-election travel surge would be especially obvious in the domestic travel sector.

“Consumers are looking for no-brainers, not complicated foreign travel plans,” Hung said.

Hsu and Hung’s argument is supported by comments from local hotel operators, who have said that rooms are being booked up much faster than usual.

“It’s possible that after the exhausting campaigns, people do not want to wait until the Lunar New Year holiday to take a break,” said Stacey Jung, assistant PR manager of Formosan Naruwan Hotel-Resort Taitung.

This year’s Lunar New Year holiday, which lasts for nine days, begins next Saturday.

The situation is similar at the Shangrila Leisure Farm in Yilan County, according to Tammy Chien (簡佩平), the company’s assistant vice president, who said rooms were full about a month ahead of schedule.

“We are trying to figure out why this unusual seasonal surge is happening. Could it be because the Lunar New Year holiday is longer than usual, or is it because people are becoming more interested in outdoor activities in general?” Chien said.

“I think post-election fatigue is a key part of the answer,” she added.

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