Fri, Jul 26, 2019 - Page 4 News List

THSRC benefits from rail travel push by government

By Cheng Wei-chi and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Taiwan Railways Administration train travels along the east coast in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Railways Administration

With the government actively promoting rail travel, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) said that its spring travel package sales exceeded its target by 50 percent.

The company had set a target of selling 40,000 travel packages, but easily sold 60,000 packages.

Taipei also made it to the top three best-selling destinations for the first time — a list usually dominated by Kaohsiung, Tainan and Taichung, the company said.

The Tourism Bureau, in collaboration with the Taiwan Visitors Association, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), THSRC, the Forestry Bureau and tourism operators, on July 13 established a “rail travel association” to promote rail travel.

Aside from marketing railway travel in Taiwan, the association also promoted exchanges with similar organizations abroad, the THSRC said.

The Tourism Bureau plans to make 2022 the “year of railway travel,” it added.

The THSRC said it used its off-peak train service to develop travel packages with tourism operators.

This strategy, which began to produce results three years ago, has resulted in 170 service routes, and doubled the number of travelers using the high-speed rail system, from 1.3 million riders in 2016 to 2.68 million last year, it said.

Travel to rural towns by rail has also increased threefold this year, and rail-and-hotel package bookings jumped 131 percent, it said.

The company’s promotion of rail travel during the spring season boosted ridership across the board, the company said, adding that packages for its routes to Miaoli County’s Siangtian Lake (向天湖) in Nanjhuang Township (南庄) quadrupled.

Those to destinations in Nantou County also nearly quadrupled, it said.

Bookings of Hotel MEZI by rail passengers increased 97 percent this year, and package deals that included stays at Caesar Park Hotel Banqiao were 6.1 times the number last year, it said.

Bookings at Hotel Cham Cham in Taipei were 5.6 times last year’s number, and those at Royal Inn Taipei Linsen were 4.5 times last year’s number, it added.

Meanwhile, the TRA said that it saw a 33 percent increase in sales of its one-day rail passes to destinations in northeastern Taiwan this year.

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