An intervention by the Consumer Protection Commission and the Tourism Bureau could soon see the ban on outside food and pricey souvenirs at the nation’s theme parks become history.
As the summer vacation is a peak period for tourism and travel, the commission and its local offices, the Tourism Bureau and health authorities listed 13 major theme parks for inspection.
Commission official Chang Chia-lin (張嘉麟) said that although the law does not forbid theme-park managers from putting up “No outside food” signs, parks should strive to provide visitors with greater convenience.
If tourists see “No outside food allowed” signs in theme parks, they can call and lodge a complaint with the Tourism Bureau or the commission, Chang said.
Inspections showed that three parks, Leofoo Village Theme Park, Yamay Resort and Janfusun Fancy World, have a ban on “outside food,” Chang said.
Leofoo Village Theme Park forbids visitors from bringing any cooked food into the park, while Yamay Resort has notices that forbid outside food, but it does not actively enforce the regulation, Chang said, adding that Janfusun Fancy World regulations forbade visitors from bringing lunchboxes or any food that needed to be heated or refrigerated.
Although all three parks do have established eating or beverage areas, where visitors can bring outside food, the Tourism Bureau still asked the parks to review their “no outside food allowed” policy.
Investigations also showed that food and beverages sold at the Window on China Theme Park, Little Ding-Dong Science Park, Leofoo Park, Yamay Resort, Janfusan Fancy World and Farglory Ocean Park were much higher than convenience store prices, Chang said.
Some vendors sell beverages that normally cost NT$25 for NT$40, Chang said, adding that that amounted to a 60 percent markup in price.
Vendors have agreed to lower prices after negotiations with the Tourism Bureau, Chang said.
In terms of sanitation, the commission said that numerous problems were identified with multiple vendors, including a lack of thermometers in freezers, the unsanitary thawing of foodstuffs on the ground, inadequate temperature controls in refrigerators, dirty cooking surfaces and failure to separate raw and cooked foods.
Improvements were made in those areas found lacking after the Food and Drug Administration instructed local Bureau of Health office to recheck the vendors, the commission said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer