Tourism officials and companies are anticipating booming domestic business over the Lunar New Year holiday due to travel restrictions implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s Lunar New Year holiday begins on Feb. 11.
Tourism agencies have reported an 80 percent room reservation rate between Feb. 10 and Feb. 16 in tourism hotspots, while reservation rates at five-star hotels in Hualien and Taitung area have exceeded 90 percent.
Photo courtesy of Cola Tour Co
Changhua County is the most popular location for Lunar New Year visits, with the Hualien and Taitung area second, Tainan in third, Yilan and Nantou counties in fourth and fifth, and Kaohsiung in sixth place, the officials said.
Changhua County claimed the top spot, as central Taiwan is host to many temples where the main deity corresponds to a profession, Lion Travel Co said.
The deity at Wenchang Temple (文昌宮) is the divine protector of academics and education; the deity at Zihnan Temple (紫南宮) in Nantou County and the deity at Yunlin County’s Wude Temple (武德宮) oversee financial fortune; while the deity at Changhua County’s Lugang Tianhou Temple (鹿港天后宮) oversees prosperity of businesses, the company said.
The Hualien and Taitung area claimed second place due to its plethora of hot springs and beautiful landscapes, the travel company added.
Lion Travel is selling dynamic package deals that allow people to customize their travel plans, as this is more popular with the smaller tour groups required due to the pandemic.
Cola Tour Co said that it is targeting family groups with packages that allow a child aged under 12 to travel for free if they are accompanied by both parents.
It is also selling three-day, two-night packages for five people, with the fifth person traveling for free.
The company said that it is providing packages and services for visits to Taipei, Tainan and Hualien, as well as the nation’s outlying islands.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last