Wed, Mar 06, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Bureau outlines spring travel subsidy program

HOT SPOTS:Some independent travelers could receive up to NT$1,500 to pay for a hotel and visits to outlying islands or 40 bureau-designated ‘charismatic’ towns

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Alishan Forest Railway trains are pictured yesterday in Chiayi County. The annual Alishan cherry blossom festival begins on Saturday and runs through April 10. The Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office is offering two special steam train tours on March 20 and March 27, with each tour limited to 100 participants.

Photo: CNA

The Tourism Bureau yesterday released the details of its spring travel subsidy program, through which travelers aged 18 to 40 could receive subsidies totaling up to NT$1,500 (US$48.63) per person.

The program, which begins on April 1 and runs through June, is a joint offer by the central and local governments, the bureau said, adding that it would provide basic subsidies for independent and group travelers, while local governments could offer additional incentives as they see fit.

Regardless of age, each citizen could apply one time for independent traveler hotel room subsidy of NT$500 subsidy per hotel room, the bureau said.

The offer applies to domestic tours that depart between a Sunday and a Thursday, it said.

Travelers aged 18 to 40 are eligible for another NT$500 subsidy for a trip to any of the nation’s outlying islands, such as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, Green Island (綠島), Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) and Pingtung County’s Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球), it added.

As the bureau is trying to boost tourism to 40 “charismatic” towns that it selected last year, travelers in the 18-to-40 age group would be eligible for a third subsidy of NT$500 if they visit one of the towns, which means independent travelers in that age group could receive a total of NT$1,500 in subsidies.

For tour groups of at least 10 people, each member would be entitled to a daily subsidy of NT$500, with the total subsidies for each tour group capped at NT$30,000, the bureau said.

However, the cap could be raised to NT$50,000 if the group travels to any outlying island or spends nights at star-rated hotels, including groups organized by private companies for their employees’ holidays, it said.

People who applied for a subsidy when they traveled independently would still be entitled to the group tour subsidy if they join a tour, it said.

The bureau said it would also offer each city and county up to NT$10 million to host traditional festivals or tourism-related events.

Each of the 40 charismatic towns is to receive up to NT$1 million for tourism marketing if their proposals are approved by the bureau, it said.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC), Chunghwa Post and Chunghwa Telecom would also offer various discounts, the bureau said.

Travelers who book rooms at THSRC partner hotels would receive a 30 percent discount on high-speed rail tickets, THSRC said, adding that people who join tours organized by the firm could stay at certain hotels for free.

Those who take a one-day tour of Jiji (集集) in Nantou County or Highway No. 3 would receive a NT$1,000 voucher, it said.

The price of the TRA’s three-day rail pass would drop from NT$1,800 to NT$1,200, the agency said.

Travelers taking the Pingsi (平溪) branch line in New Taipei City, the Neiwan (內灣) line in Hsinchu County and and Jiji line, as well as the northeast coast railway tour, would receive a 30 percent discount on a one-day rail pass.

The bureau is to compile the dates on which the various incentives are to take effect and post them on the Taiwan Stay Web site (taiwanstay.net.tw) on March 21, bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said.

A budget of about NT$860 million has been allocated for the program, which is expected to create an output value of NT$6.25 billion, Chou said.

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