Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Tours in Greater Tainan to become more accessible

By Wang Han-ping and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Excursion tours to popular attractions and scenic spots in Greater Tainan are set to become more accessible as the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) plans to work with local regional bus companies and tour operators to develop more convenient and tourist-friendly vacation packages.

A new shuttle bus line linking the high-speed railways’ Chiayi Station to Greater Tainan’s Sinying District (新營) is scheduled to start operations soon and regional tourism service companies said they are upbeat on business prospects as more enticing vacation packages could be combined with the new THSRC shuttle bus line.

Among the proposed tour packages include a number of top destinations in Tainan such as Guanzihling (關子嶺) Hot Springs, Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫), Tsou-Ma-Lai Farm (走馬瀨農場) and Houbi Township (後壁), which was the setting of Let It Be (無米樂), a documentary about the plight of rice farmers.

According to a spokesperson for the Sinying Bus Company, during the Taiwan International Orchid Show in March it offered a two-day tour package for two people priced at NT$3,600 (US$120) and this had attracted a fairly good response, despite travelers having to go to Sinying Train Station to embark on the Sinying bus line.

With the onset of the free shuttle bus service from the THSRC’s Chiayi station to Sinying, the spokesman expressed the hope that many more would book tour packages for these favored destinations in Tainan.

Local tour operators expressed hope that, with diverse tour packages and options, the new shuttle bus link could generate a multiplier effect, drawing more tourists and thus help developing the region's tourism industry.

The administrative office for Tainan’s Siraya National Scenic Area (西拉雅國家風景區) added it plans to offer two-day tour programs next year, in conjunction with the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service, at NT$3,800 for two people, with one night accommodation in Guanzihling.

According to one tour operator, the package is good value for money and could attract tourists even during weekdays.

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