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Government to roll out voucher plan to help quake-hit Hualien tourism

04/18/2024 07:47 PM
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Visitors stroll through Dongdamen Night Market in Hualien County. CNA file photo
Visitors stroll through Dongdamen Night Market in Hualien County. CNA file photo

Taipei, April 18 (CNA) The central government has devised various measures to help revive tourism in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, after the area was severely impacted by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on April 3, including plans to issue stimulus vouchers for use at Dongdamen Night Market.

A Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) official said at a post-Cabinet meeting press conference Thursday that the government plans to roll out a "good market double voucher" and a night market stimulus voucher exclusively for use in the Dongdamen market from May-August to spur consumption.

In the first phase, people who buy the double voucher with a face value of NT$100 (US$3.09) can purchase NT$200 worth of products at the market from May to July. A total of 18,400 double vouchers will be issued, according to the ministry official.

In the second phase, the night market stimulus voucher program is set to be launched in August under which people who get an accommodation certificate to prove they have stayed in Hualien over the past three days will be eligible to get a night market promotion voucher worth NT$100 from the Dongdamen Night Market counter, the official added.

The MOEA will also provide about NT$2 million in subsidies for four local business districts in Hualien, including the 100-year-old Jinsanjiao (Golden Triangle) shopping district, Liyu Lake commercial district and the Stone Art Avenue commercial circle, to help promote local tourism.

The Tourism Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) is also working on a plan to revitalize the local tourism and accommodation industry, MOTC Deputy Minister Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯) told the media briefing following a Cabinet meeting on post-quake recovery and reconstruction work in Hualien.

The plan includes a scheme to subsidize operators of tourist hotels or B&Bs by having them accommodate those affected by the quake.

The agency also proposed a financing plan for local tourism operators and a tourism revitalization plan, Chen said, adding that these plans are still under discussion.

According to the Tourism Administration, Hualien's average hotel occupancy rate was previously more than 30 percent, but has now dropped to 10 percent due to the impact of the earthquake.

(By Lai Yu-chen and Evelyn Kao)

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