Taipei, June 26 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Penghu county government have jointly developed an environment on the outlying island to the west of Taiwan where visitors can enjoy low-carbon tourism, a ministry official said Tuesday.
In collaboration with various local guesthouses and businesses, the central and local governments have established 551 facilities in 73 different places where drivers of rented electric scooters can either charge or replace their batteries for free, said Michael Shen, an official of the ministry's Industrial Development Bureau, who is in charge of the project.
Some of these services will start to charge money for recharging after October due to differing contracts, while others will not do so until 2014, Shen added.
In addition, some guesthouse owners will provide day-long electric scooter rentals free of charge if guests provide their own toiletries, according to the promotional plans.
The ministry believes that such green tourism can help drive the electric vehicle industry and generate NT$250 million (US$8.34 million) in business revenue.
The move is part of the government's efforts to promote green tourism on the island and make it one of the top 10 low-carbon islands in the world.
The number of visitors to Penghu in recent years has been increasing, with some 665,978 visits made in 2011, up 40 percent compared with the number for 2008, according to statistics.
In March, Penghu kicked off a five-year, NT$8.09 billion (US$270 million) project to turn itself into a world-class low-carbon island.
Penghu plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50 percent in 2015 compared with 2005 levels, bringing the amount produced per person down to 2.1 tons per year from 5.4 tons.
(By James Lee)