Wed, Apr 24, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Bureau promotes tipping by tourists

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Tourism Bureau yesterday said travelers would soon be encouraged to tip personnel at hotels or other tourism-related businesses, adding that it has yet to determine an advised amount to give.

Tipping hotel staff is common practice in many countries, the bureau said.

Chen Chiung-hua (陳瓊華), deputy director of the bureau’s Hotel, Travel and Training Division, said the bureau had discussed the matter with representatives from the tourism industry and had reached a consensus on promoting such a practice.

She said that giving tips is a way to motivate tourism workers to provide quality service.

The representatives recommended that the tourism service personnel be tipped NT$50 per service, the bureau said.

Instead of using a NT$50 coin, which could make tipping look like giving money to the poor, the representatives suggested that the central bank issue NT$50 bills to make tipping easier.

“We have yet to decide on an appropriate amount to tip, and we have not yet settled on the timing of promoting such a practice,” Chen said.

“All proposals will be reviewed and decided by the Tourism Development and Promotion Committee at the Executive Yuan,” Chen said.

“Once the details are finalized, we will notify tour group leaders and tour guides,” Chen added.

Some disagreed with the bureau’s rationale for introducing such a practice.

They said that a lot of businesses already charge customers a 10 percent service fee, and asking them to tip would be excessive.

Chen also said that travelers will not be forced to tip, nor does it matter how much people tip.

The key is that the promotion encourages people to leave a tip, she said.

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