Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday green-lighted the fall and winter subsidy program for domestic travel, which will include free accommodations for certain High Speed Rail (HSR) passengers, night market coupons and other perks.
Under the expanded program, which targets Republic of China nationals, groups of two people who travel by HSR to Taipei, Tainan or Kaohsiung and plan to stay in any of the three municipalities overnight at a hotel need not pay for accommodations for the first night, Taiwan High Speed Rail Business Division senior manager Keng Min-chen (耿敏貞) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei.
However, the deal would not apply to tourists traveling solo, she said.
Tourism Bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said that when people traveling to another city or county check into a hotel, they would receive four night market vouchers per room with a total value of NT$200.
The vouchers would be accepted at night markets that have registered with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Chou said.
People traveling to a city or county that does not have a participating night market would receive other benefits, he said.
These include unlimited free entry at one of the nation’s “forest recreation areas” and electronic coupons that are worth NT$600 when they shop at restaurants or gift shops in any of the nation’s 70 key Hakka culture promotion areas, he said.
Those who shop at any of the “ayoyi” stores recognized by the Council of Indigenous Peoples and pay electronically with the Taiwan Pay app would receive electronic coupons worth NT$500, Chou said.
The program also includes a host of exhibition venues, including a two-for-one ticket discount at the National Palace Museum, which is also to introduce free admission for nationals aged 65 or above, he said.
Free admission would be granted at the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology, National Taiwan Science Education Center, National Museum of Natural Science, National Science and Technology Museum and National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium for parents traveling with their children, he said.
Children under the age of 12 would also be able to visit these venues for free except for exhibitions otherwise specified by the facilities, he added.
In addition, all children under the age of 12 can visit the National Taiwan Museum, National Museum of Taiwan History and National Museum of Prehistory for free, Chou said.
Fares for bus tours along the nine routes featured on “taiwantrip.com” would be reduced by half if travelers pay with electronic passes, while adults and minors who travel in Hualien and Taitung counties on the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Chukuang Express trains would receive a 30 percent fare discount for trips longer than 80km and a 34 percent discount when they pay with the TRA’s TR-PASS, he said.
The second stage of the program is to take effect on Sept. 16 and will last until Dec. 31, he added.
Su encouraged people to take advantage of the preferential deals and to go outdoors, as the fond memories created with family members and the beauty of Taiwan are priceless.
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