Travel incentives for Hualien widened in wake of quake

2018/03/14 18:21:08 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Chen Tan (賀陳旦, right)

Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Chen Tan (賀陳旦, right)

Taipei, March 14 (CNA) Starting in April, the Tourism Bureau will expand an ongoing subsidy program to offer NT$500 per person to Taiwanese nationals traveling in pairs to Hualien on four weekdays, in a continued effort to revive the eastern county's tourism following a deadly magnitude 6.0 earthquake there in February.

The expansion of the bureau's "3355" subsidy package will take effect on April 16, granting the payments to pairs who travel to Hualien for at least two nights in the period Monday to Thursday each week, Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Chen Tan (賀陳旦) said Wednesday.

The "3355" program was launched on March 6, offering a maximum NT$500 per person as an accommodation subsidy to travelers to Hualien in tour groups of three to 19 people, for stays of at least two nights at a hotel registered in the program.

Ho Chen said the idea behind limiting the new subsidy to four days a week for paired travelers is to help spread out the visits over the week.

The subsidies are being offered in an effort to help revive Hualien's tourism in the wake of the Feb. 6 earthquake that killed 17 people, injured 291, and caused widespread infrastructure damage there.

The Tourism Bureau has allocated NT$5 million for the subsidy program, which will be increased if it runs out before end of June when the program expires, Ho Chen said.

The subsidies are limited only to Taiwanese nationals, and application details are available on the bureau's website.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the cruise ship Celebrity Millennium docked at the Hualien port, the first since the earthquake, and two more cruise liners are expected later this month, according to the Taiwan International Ports Corp.

(By Lee Shien-feng and Kuan-lin Liu)

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