With the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) rolling back some pandemic-related restrictions, the hospitality industry is enjoying a tourism boom over the four-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday.
Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球) off Pingtung County reported 14,000 visitors on Thursday, with all hotels and hostels on the island fully booked and all ferries from Donggang Harbor (東港) and Dapengwan (大鵬灣) full. The total number of visitors yesterday exceeded 20,000.
The township said it had to arrange for increased ferry crossings to bring over all the tourists.
Liouchiou Township Tourism Association Director Hung Hao-sheng (洪豪昇) said the number of tourists over the past two days was comparable to the peak tourist season.
Hung said that he expected the tourist rush to continue to the end of summer.
He said that visitors should prioritize safety and hire a local guide when snorkeling, and should also slow down when riding rental scooters on the island.
Photo: Yeh Yung-chien, Taipei Times
Among other popular tourism sites was Changhua County’s Lukang (鹿港), where food stall owner Chang Cheng-tao (詹政道) said business over the past two days, compared with other weekends, has improved by 30 to 40 percent.
He said he had to prepare nearly 300kg of oysters, the equivalent of 1,500 servings, for one day.
Another stall owner, Chen Hui-ling (陳慧玲), said she did not mind the hard work, as long as she could recuperate her losses from during the pandemic.
A family from Taichung’s Wurih District (烏日) said they had stayed home throughout the pandemic, and the whole family visited Lukang, where they hoped their visit would help stimulate the economy.
In Hualien County, hotels reported that their rooms were 90 percent occupied and some were even entirely sold out over the past two days, with an expected 60 percent to 70 percent occupancy rate for today and tomorrow.
Hualien hotels also reported that most rooms were sold out by early this month, and they had tried to accommodate requests as much as possible.
The Dongdamen Night Market in Hualien was crowded with tourists and stall owners said they had to prepare three times the amount of ingredients to satisfy demand.
The county government said that most of the visitors did not arrive until late Thursday due to traffic congestion.
It said that Farglory Ocean Park and the Paradiso complex on Thursday also saw a spike in visitors, recording 4,000 and 10,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, Hualien County Department of Tourism Deputy Director Chang Chih-hsiang (張志翔) said that his department was investigating complaints that on Thursday hotel room prices online had increased from the morning to the afternoon.
He said the department and the Hualien branch of the Travel Agent Association had reminded hotel owners to keep their prices within a reasonable range.
Additional reporting by Hua Meng-ching
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