Hualien firms pin hopes on events

By Wang Chun-chi and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Sep 05, 2018 - Page 4

Businesses in Hualien County are hoping that the county’s athletic and adventure-themed events will attract visitors in the final quarter of this year, sources said on Monday.

Hualien’s tourism industry has recovered from an earthquake in February, with the summer vacation seeing a 40 percent increase in visitors to the county’s 11 main tourist attractions in May and June, the sources said.

While most businesses in tourism-related sectors have reported balanced books, some are concerned that the tourism off-season, which began this month, could jeopardize their gains, they said.

However, the county is scheduled to host a number of marathons, boating and other adventure sports events before the year’s end, including the Deep Sea Half-Marathon, the Trans-Tectonic Plate Run, the Taroko Gorge International Marathon and the Rafting Triathlon.

Organizers have reported an estimated 40,000 registrations for those events, the sources said.

The Hualien Pacific Valley Marathon was originally scheduled to close its registration period last month, but the Hualien County Athletics Federation has extended the deadline until Sept. 30 at the request of the event’s corporate sponsors, they said.

Pili International Multimedia has pledged to furnish 100 puppets as souvenirs in a lottery for the event’s participants, they added.

Chateau de Chine Hualien and the Jonathan Su Foundation are to arrange a guided nighttime kayaking event along the coast on Sept. 24, hotel general manager Tang Yu-shu (唐玉書) said.

Professional instructors would escort kayakers to ensure their safety and comfort, she said.