The government is to continue subsidizing student admission to amusement parks even though funds for the program could run out by the end of this month, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.
The subsidy — about NT$200 million (US$6.76 million) — is part of government funding to support the second phase of its “disease-prevention tours.”
The admission subsidy is offered to students under the age of 19 and grants them free access to 22 parks around the nation this month and next month, when most students are on summer vacation.
Because of the program’s popularity, the Tourism Bureau said that the subsidy is likely to run out by the end of this month.
Some amusement park operators have reportedly stopped granting free admission to students for fear that they might no longer receive government subsidies for doing so.
The ministry said that Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) has told the bureau that the program should continue until the end of month, and it should negotiate with park operators to bear more of the costs of the program.
The ministry would seek more funding from the Executive Yuan if there is still a shortfall in funding, it said.
Bureau officials said that the subsidy for admission fees to amusement parks is capped at NT$350 per person, adding that the bureau would need an additional NT$200 million if there is no adjustment in the cap.
As the bureau is preparing a request for additional subsidies for the second phase of the program from the Executive Yuan, officials said that they would include funding for amusement park visits in their proposal.
The bureau has other funding solutions should the Executive Yuan not approve the budget, officials said.
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