Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday urged the public to visit Hualien to help its tourism industry recover from a devastating earthquake earlier this month.
The government plans to provide a total of NT$60.5 million (US$2.06 million) to support the county’s tourism industry, he added.
The Tourism Bureau is to offer NT$30 million in loans to tourism-related businesses affected by the earthquake and NT$10 million to encourage travel agencies to bring tour groups to the county, Lai said in a Facebook post with two pictures featuring the county’s scenery.
The bureau also offers accommodation subsidies of NT$500 per person for group and independent travelers on three-day tours of the county, he said.
“The earthquake has passed, but the beauty of Hualien remains unchanged,” he said.
“In addition to the aid provided by the government, Hualien needs more warmth,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) on Saturday said that the demolition of four partially collapsed buildings in Hualien City was under way.
The demolition of the nine-story Wuju Wusu bed and breakfast (吾居吾宿) began on Saturday and is expected to be completed today, while seven floors of the 12-story Yun Men Tsui Ti (雲門翠堤) commercial and residential building have been demolished, with the remaining parts would be removed in the following days, he said.
The Marshal Hotel (統帥飯店) and one other residential building had been completely leveled, he added.
In related news, many baseball fans in Japan’s Ishigaki City have begun to raise funds for the county’s quake victims as Taiwan’s Lamigo Monkeys visit the city to play two games with the Chiba Lotte Marines team on Saturday and today.
Several Japanese voiced their support for Taiwan by raising a piece of cloth written in Chinese that read: “Taiwan cheer up! God bless Taiwan! (台灣加油！天佑台灣！).”
Additional reporting by CNA
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