Bed and breakfast (B&B) operators in Penghu County are to be disqualified from receiving government subsidies if they deliberately inflate room prices for the second phase of “disease prevention tours,” Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.
Lin told reporters after attending a news conference about an outdoor children’s theater production — a partnership between Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) and the Paper Windmill Theatre (紙風車劇團) — that is to take place near Taichung High Speed Rail Station on Saturday to celebrate Father’s Day.
The government’s tourism stimulus package has helped travelers experience high-quality domestic tours, and B&B operators should not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, Lin said.
Photo: Cheng Wei-chi, Taipei Times
“The Tourism Bureau told Penghu County Government officials that operators found to engage in this kind of behavior a second time should be disqualified from applying for tourism subsidies,” Lin said. “Local government officials must thoroughly enforce the Consumer Protection Act (消費者保護法) and hold offenders accountable.”
Subsidies for the second phase of “disease prevention tours” are to be available until the end of October, Lin said.
As more people are heading to attractions in Yilan, Hualien, Taitung and the outlying islands, the bureau would step up campaigns to promote travel destinations in northern and central Taiwan to help divert the crowds, he said.
Cities and counties seeing a large influx of visitors would be asked to suspend tourism marketing events during the summer, Lin said, adding that the bureau would also be postponing marketing subsidies for those areas.
To ease traffic congestion in the Hsuehshan Tunnel during the Mid-Autumn Festival in October, the National Freeway Bureau would implement measures to redirect the traffic, Lin said.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications would reinforce public transport connecting the east and west coasts, Lin said.
For example, the Yilan Railway Station would be turned into a hub to accommodate a high-speed rail extension line and an express railway system, he said, adding that the number of buses heading to the east coast would also be increased.
The platform providing motorists with updated traffic information would be improved so that it could help the freeway bureau identify the most effective ways to free up freeway traffic, he said.
On Thursday last week, THSRC resumed normal service, along with the rebound in domestic tourism.
The numbers of High-speed rail passengers declined significantly during the first half of this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, causing the company to reduce services.
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