TaiwanThe Tourism Bureau launched a ‘bailout’ programme for Hualien County following the deadly quake last week

Hualien to get US$1.9-million relief after earthquake

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Hualien will be receiving a NT$55.5 million lift for tourism following the damages and losses of last week’s earthquake.
Hualien will be receiving a NT$55.5 million lift for tourism following the damages and losses of last week’s earthquake. Photo Credit: Travel and Still life photography/Getty Images

With many would-be visitors cancelling their room bookings and train tickets for the Lunar New Year holiday and beyond, the country’s tourism industry has suffered up to NT$8 billion in losses last week.

Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau has announced a NT$55.5 million (US$1.90 million) support programme for Hualien County’s tourism industry following the aftermath of the deadly earthquake last and the resulting wave of holiday travel cancellations yesterday (February 12).

With many would-be visitors cancelling their room bookings and train tickets for the Lunar New Year holiday and beyond, the country’s tourism industry has suffered up to NT$8 billion in losses last week.

A bailout programme has been launched, including NT$10 million to promote tours between this month and July, NT$5 million to encourage travel and hospitality agencies to offer discounts and NT$2 million for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) and Taiwan Tour Bus to increase their promotional activities nationwide, Tourism Bureau director-general Chou Yung-hui said. 

From now through December, the government will provide NT$30 million for financing and NT$60 million for facility reconstruction, with Farglory Ocean Park and Yiyuan Resort among those to receive subsidies, he said.

From April to December, it plans to spend NT$2.5 million on water activities, while utilising its current budget to promote sightseeing tours of Taiwan in Japan, South Korea, China and Southeast Asian nations, said Chou.

The TRA also said it would extend the booking period for group tickets by suspending the restriction on booking tickets just two months in advance, which would give travel agencies more flexibility in arranging tours to Hualien County.

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake caused 16 deaths, with one person still listed as missing and presumed dead, 285 injured and 493 relocated, according to National Fire Agency data as of 4:00pm yesterday.

Although most damage occurred in Hualien City, where four buildings were badly damaged, many other parts of the county have since been affected.


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