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COVID-19's impact on tribal resort

2021/02/21 01:00

The Lunar New Year holiday saw another wave of travel by residents in Taiwan, who are fortunate to be able to live relatively normal lives compared to people under lockdown in other countries. But that doesn’t mean Taiwan’s tourism businesses haven’t been affected by the past year of COVID-19 epidemic prevention measures and the recent concerns over a cluster infection. Some of the hardest-hit places are those in rural areas. One such place that has seen a drop in tourists is the Bunun Tribal Leisure Farm in eastern Taiwan’s Taitung County. It’s run by the Bunun Tribe in Taoyuan Village, Yanping Township and was set up in 1995 to provide jobs for indigenous youngsters so they wouldn’t have to move to the cities for work. It’s also aimed at preserving and passing on the traditional culture of the Bunun tribe, which lived in Taiwan for thousands of years before Han Chinese settlers arrived. Pastor Jerry Pai, a Bunun local son, founded the leisure farm using land his father gave him. He told CNA the farm is struggling to get by. Its more than 50 workers have been paid up to November only, and its eight managers have not received their salary since June. Still, they are getting by and have come up with a new way to survive the current tourism slump.

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