The Taipei Department of Information and Tourism yesterday announced a new tourism program that offers independent travelers and members of tourist groups a NT$1,000 (US$34.68) subsidy per person for an overnight stay in the city between next month and March 7.
“While currently the COVID-19 situation in Taiwan is relatively safe, we still cannot let our guard down, because hundreds of thousands of new cases are being reported daily around the world,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said. “There isn’t community spread in the nation because we have very tight border control measures, but we still have to go on with our lives.”
Ko said that hotels in the capital are one of the sectors that have suffered the most harm from the pandemic, because about 92 percent of foreign travelers who visit Taiwan spend one night in Taipei, but now there are hardly any foreign visitors.
Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times
It is a different situation from hotels in the east of Taiwan and on outlying islands, which are full of domestic tourists due to tight border controls, he said, adding that to support Taipei’s hotels the city government has since July launched two subsidy programs, and that it would be launching another next month.
“We plan to subsidize 100,000 members of tourist groups NT$1,000 per person, and the same for 100,000 independent travelers. We have prepared a total budget of NT$200 million,” Ko said.
The department said that the subsidy for members of tourist groups would be available from Tuesday next week to March 7 in three stages — for 30,000 travelers next month, another 30,000 from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, and 40,000 between Feb. 1 and March 7.
The group must spend at least one night in a registered hotel, eat at least one meal, and visit at least two shopping areas, night markets or designated sightseeing spots in the capital to be eligible for the subsidy, the department said.
Subsidies would be offered to 50,000 independent travelers until Jan. 31, and then another 50,000 from Feb. 1 to March 7.
The subsidy is to be limited to an overnight stay before a working day, meaning it would not be available for hotel bookings on Fridays or Saturdays, but it would be available during the Lunar New Year holiday to encourage more domestic tourists to visit Taipei, it said.
Independent travelers can start applying for the subsidy on the department’s Web site from Dec. 20.
They are required to book their room directly with the hotel.
Many events are being held in Taipei until March, including the Shilin Residence Chrysanthemum Show, Gongguan Christmas Month, the Taipei New Year’s Eve Party, the Taipei Marathon, the Lunar New Year Shopping Festival and the Taipei Lantern Festival, Ko said, so the city government would like to invite more people to visit the capital.
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