Old hotels to get makeover
The government plans to help 500 hotels upgrade their operations, a project that is expected to create thousands of jobs and greatly boost sales, Cabinet officials said. The plan, part of a government initiative to reinvigorate the country’s 50 old-economy industries, will target old hotels for evaluations to spur them to improve their facilities and services, the officials said. The project also aims to promote brand-building among hotels and assist them in joining a worldwide booking system, they said. The project is expected to create 6,000 jobs, NT$13.8 billion (US$460 million) in revenues and NT$1.92 billion in investments. Taiwan registered 6.08 million foreign tourist arrivals last year, 91 percent of whom stayed in hotels. In the first half of this year, tourist hotels generated more than NT$25.7 billion in revenue, up 6.55 percent from last year, government data showed.
HK policy attracts Taiwanese
Preferential treatment for Taiwanese travelers to Hong Kong allowing them to apply online for a visa without charge is expected to attract more Taiwanese to the territory, a Hong Kong tour operator association said on Saturday. The new measure, scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1, will be especially attractive to young travelers, Hong Kong Inbound Tour Operators Association chairman Ricky Tse (謝淦廷) said. As a result of the online visa application measure, the number of visitors to Hong Kong is expected to increase by 10 percent this year, he said. The Hong Kong-based China Travel Service said it is already planning preferential tour packages for Taiwanese to expand its client pool. The company is considering launching Hong Kong ecology tours to attract more Taiwanese tour groups, a spokesman for the tour agency said, adding that most Taiwanese travelers are not keen on shopping, but are more interested in gourmet food as well as cultural and natural attractions.
Manila arrests Taiwanese
Philippine police said yesterday they had arrested five Taiwanese men who allegedly operated a clandestine laboratory that produced methamphethamine hydrochloride. Senior Police Superintendent Prudencio Tom Banas said about 20kg of what is suspected to be methamphethamine was found in a house where the Taiwanese men were arrested yesterday in Paranaque city in the capital region. Other chemicals used to make the drug were found in the two-story residence, he said. A caretaker told investigators the men had rented the house for a year. A police crackdown has led to the discovery of a number of illegal drug labs in residential enclaves, including an upscale area where top government officials live.
Train tickets get convenient
People will soon be able to book train tickets two weeks in advance in any of the nation’s four main convenience store chains, the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The railway operator said the service, which will be launched at 10pm on Wednesday at convenience stores nationwide run by President Chain Store Corp, FamilyMart, OK-Mart and Hi-Life will be available daily from 6am to 11:30pm. Consumers will be charged NT$8 per ticket purchase, the railway administration office said.