Taipei, The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) on Wednesday announced a travel stimulus package for the Feb. 10-16 Lunar New Year holiday that will not only encourage travel by providing hotel subsidies, but also seek to address traffic congestion during the period.
Under the campaign, dubbed “Respect for your parents,” Taiwanese nationals aged 55 or over will receive NT$1,500 (US$52) per person, per night at a hotel, for up to four nights during Feb. 8-13, the ministry said.
However, to be eligible, individuals must stay at hotels in Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu (city and county), where the occupancy rate was down by 30 percent year-on-year in the third quarter even after a similar travel stimulus campaign from July 1-Oct. 31.
The campaign aims to encourage the younger generation to invite their parents to travel north, said minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), adding that instead of having a traditional New Year’s eve family dinner at home, they could dine at hotels.
If that proves successful, it could also help address traffic congestion commonly seen during the long holiday as most people usually travel south for family reunions, Lin said.
However, to ensure the campaign reduces congestion qualified tourists must travel from regions other than the six administrative areas mentioned above via public transportation such as high speed rail, regular train and intercity bus services, according to the ministry.
Anyone interested in the campaign can book packages from travel agencies from Dec. 8 (northbound public transportation tickets Feb. 8-11, hotel stay Feb. 8-13, and southbound transportation tickets Feb. 12-14).
Foreign residents in Taiwan are not eligible for the subsidies, MOTC officials said.