Taiwan Unveils Stimulus Measures to Revive Hualien Tourism After Earthquake

Taiwan government unveils $92.7M stimulus package to revive Hualien's tourism after devastating earthquake, offering vouchers, subsidies, and incentives to attract visitors back to the region.

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Taiwan Unveils Stimulus Measures to Revive Hualien Tourism After Earthquake

Taiwan Unveils Stimulus Measures to Revive Hualien Tourism After Earthquake

The Taiwanese government has announced a stimulus package aimed at reviving tourism in Hualien County, which was severely impacted by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on April 3, 2024. The earthquake caused an estimated NT$3 billion (US$92.7 million) in damages and led to a significant drop in hotel occupancy rates in the area, from over 30% to just 10%.

To spur consumption and attract visitors back to Hualien, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) plans to issue 'good market double vouchers' and 'night market stimulus vouchers' for use at the Dongdamen Night Market from May to August. The MOEA will provide 18,400 vouchers worth NT$200 (sold at NT$100) for purchases at the night market, valid from next month to July. Additionally, tourists staying in Hualien for 3 days or more will receive a NT$100 voucher redeemable at the night market, valid through August.

The government will also provide around NT$2 million in subsidies for four local business districts in Hualien, including Old Street, Stone Art Avenue, Singsiang Shopping District, and Liyutan Reservoir, to promote tourism hotspots before the summer vacation period. The Tourism Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) is working on a plan to revitalize the local tourism and accommodation industry, which includes subsidies for hotels to house people left homeless by the earthquake, a financing scheme for the industry, incentives to promote tourism, and airfare subsidies for foreign visitors. Taiwan Railway Corp's Taiwan Pass users traveling to Hualien will also receive perks as part of the stimulus efforts.

Why this matters: The earthquake's impact on Hualien's tourism industry highlights the vulnerability of local economies to natural disasters. The government's swift response and targeted stimulus measures aim to support affected businesses and communities, while also demonstrating Taiwan's resilience and commitment to economic recovery in the face of adversity.

The stimulus package comes as a much-needed lifeline for Hualien's tourism sector, which heavily relies on domestic and international visitors. The MOEA's voucher scheme and subsidies for local business districts are expected to encourage spending and attract tourists back to the area's popular attractions, such as the Dongdamen Night Market. The MOTC's plan to support the accommodation industry and provide incentives for foreign visitors further underscores the government's comprehensive approach to reviving tourism in Hualien. As the county begins its recovery process, the success of these stimulus measures will be closely watched by local businesses and residents alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Taiwanese govt announces stimulus package to revive tourism in Hualien after 7.2 quake.
  • Vouchers worth NT$200 (sold at NT$100) for Dongdamen Night Market, plus 3-day stay vouchers.
  • NT$2M in subsidies for 4 local business districts to promote tourism hotspots.
  • Subsidies for hotels to house quake victims, financing scheme, and airfare subsidies for foreign visitors.
  • Stimulus aims to support affected businesses and demonstrate Taiwan's resilience in economic recovery.