Pop diva A-mei (阿妹) New Year’s Eve concert at Taitung’s International Landmark Seaside Park could serve as a “stress test” of transport capacity in southeast Taiwan, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.
The singer, also known as Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹) in Mandarin, announced on Sept. 24 that she would hold a New Year’s Eve concert in her hometown that would be free.
Given that a large number of A-mei fans and New Year’s Eve revelers are likely to flock to Taitung over the holiday, especially with the nation’s borders closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) has instructed ministry officials to make plans to facilitate visitor transportation as early as possible, based on the lessons learned during the Mid-Autumn Festival and Double-Ten National Day holidays, the ministry said.
Hotels in downtown Taitung are fully booked for New Year’s Eve, Tourism Bureau data showed.
The average occupancy rate at hotels in other parts of Taitung has surged to 80 percent for New Year’s Eve and 70 percent for the night of Jan. 1, the data showed.
Lin sees the concert and other holiday events in the county as a test of its maximum transport capacity, or the collective total of visitors arriving by railway, highway and domestic flights, the ministry said, adding that the results would serve as an important reference when planning transportation for large events in Taitung.
Domestic carriers have proposed offering charter flights between Taipei and Taitung on New Year’s Eve, with a shuttle bus to the concert, the ministry added.
Civil Aeronautics Administration and Tourism Bureau officials are discussing with travel operators the possibility of offering charter flights between Taichung and Taitung on New Year’s Eve and during the Lunar New Year holiday.
As the South Link Line is to be fully electrified by the end of next month, the Taiwan Railways Administration is to increase train services to Taitung via the North Link and South Link lines, it added.
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