Taiwan in running for award
The nation has been nominated by a US travel magazine as one of five tourist destinations in Asia with the highest client satisfaction, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. The winner among the five nominees — Taiwan, China, India, Japan and Thailand — is to be decided by a public vote between Monday and April 30, it said. The five finalists were picked by a TravelAge West editorial team after reviewing hundreds of travel suppliers and products, the bureau said. The review included product analyses, on-site visits, a travel agent survey and online research, it added. The poll is to decide the magazine’s “Destination with the Highest Client Satisfaction — Asia,” one of many accolades of the annual TravelAge West WAVE Awards, which usually feature more than 60 winners and editor’s picks.
Kids to get free bus tours
To celebrate this year’s Children’s Day on April 4, the operator of the double-decker tour bus in Kaohsiung yesterday announced that it would offer children younger than 12 free rides on weekdays all of next month. Kaohsiung Bus Group currently has two double-decker buses operating in the city to introduce its attractions. Tickets are NT$300 (US$9.84) for adults and NT$150 for children and preferential groups. The company promotion comes as the nation prepares to enjoy a four-day holiday celebrating Children’s Day and Tomb Sweeping Day from Saturday next week to April 4. To encourage families to take rides on the buses, which feature an open upper deck, the company plans to hire people to dress up as bears and monkeys to pose for pictures with tourists.
Cruise liners visit Hualien
Two cruise ships carrying a total of 1,600 passengers yesterday arrived in Hualien Port. On their arrival, the cruise ships were greeted by a water salute and performances by Aboriginal dancers. L’Austral, which is operated by French cruise line company Compagnie du Ponant, was carrying 200 passengers, while the Volendam, operated by US-British-owned Holland America Line, had 1,400 tourists on board. The 1,600 tourists are to mainly visit Taroko National Park, Harbor Master Lee Shun-i (李順益) said, adding that the prospects for cruise tourism were looking good this year. He said nine foreign cruise liners are expected to call on Hualien Port this year, including the Ovation of the Seas, which is to bring 4,700 tourists. To better serve cruise ship passengers, the port yesterday reopened its Customs Processing Office, which was renovated and expanded at a cost of NT$22.7 million.
Most unhappy with work law
As many as 67 percent of the nation’s workers are dissatisfied with new work regulations that mandate a regular day off and “one flexible rest day” per week, a survey released on Wednesday showed. Job bank yes123 released its second-quarter survey of workers, conducted from March 9 to Monday, which found that only 32.6 percent of respondents were satisfied with the new rules that went into effect nearly three months ago. Of 918 valid samples, 73.6 percent said their average time off per month has remained unchanged, 19 percent have had to work longer hours and 7.4 percent have had to work fewer hours. On overtime pay, 69.4 percent said it has remained unchanged, 21.1 percent said it has decreased and 9.5 percent reported increased overtime income. The survey had a margin of error of 3.23 percentage points.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,