It costs more to swim in public swimming facilities in Taipei than in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, a study released by the Consumers’ Foundation showed yesterday.
The study found that the average admission fee for use of swimming facilities in 11 of the city’s 12 public sports centers last month was NT$130, higher than the average NT$72 in Hong Kong, NT$63 in Macau and NT$33.5 in Singapore.
The Zhongshan District Sports Center was not included in the study because it has been under renovation since Feb. 29, according to the nonprofit civil organization devoted to defending consumer rights.
Foundation chairwoman Joann Su (蘇錦霞) said Taipei is the only city in the country that has fully equipped public sports centers, but the foundation has received complaints about the high fees at facilities that are supposed to serve city residents.
Part of the problem may be that the city has outsourced the operations of each sports center to a management company, Su said.
“The outsourced services at the city sports centers are expensive. The government’s policy to promote sports activities might be benefiting wealthy people,” she said.
The fees for playing table tennis, badminton and squash at the public sports centers in Taipei are also higher than in Hong Kong and Macau, but lower than in Singapore, the study found.
The fees for playing table tennis in the public sports centers is NT$25 per person per hour, higher than NT$16 in Hong Kong and NT$9 in Macau but lower than the NT$53.5 in Singapore.
The respective fees for using public badminton and squash courts averaged at NT$130.5 and NT$143.5 per person in Singapore, NT$100 and NT$50 in Taipei, NT$46.5 and NT$42 in Hong Kong and NT$13.5 and NT$27 in Macau.
The Consumers’ Foundation questioned the swimming fees in Taipei relative to that in the other three economies because Taiwan’s GDP per capita on a purchasing power parity basis is lower than that of Singapore and Hong Kong and only slightly higher than Macau’s.