The tourism industry receives serious damage as tourist attractions and water sports on the island remain off-limits
According to Taiwan News, the government is being called on by the tourism industry of southern Taiwan’s Xiaoliuqiu Island and Kenting to further relax COVID-19 restrictions, in hopes of strengthening the slow business.
Xiaoliuqiu Island is a small island off the coast of Donggang Township in Pingtung County.
Representatives of its tourism industry issued a joint statement on August 13, saying that the island was considered the safest place in Taiwan during the peak of the pandemic, as all tourism operators voluntarily suspended operations for public safety.
However, tourism received serious damage as tourist attractions and water sports on the island remained off-limits.
In an attempt to uplift tourism, visitors with proof of vaccination or negative rapid screening results have been offered discounts by local tourism operators.
Since the COVID alert was lowered to Level 2, the Kenting National Park Headquarters has allowed certain water sports, such as scuba diving, surfing, paddleboarding, canoeing, and jet skiing, with only one person allowed per canoe or paddleboard.
Swimming and snorkeling are still banned nevertheless, and swimming pools at hotels will remain closed until at least August 23.
Lin Su-ming, Pingtung County Bed and Breakfast Association Chairperson, said that a Kenting without swimming will not attract many visitors.
She called on the government to balance epidemic prevention and the economy and cease relieving tourism operators of their livelihoods.
General Manager Chang Chi-kuang at Howard Beach Resort Kenting said that the hotel’s current occupancy rate is only about 30 percent, hoping that the government will put forth conditions for hotel swimming pools and gyms to reopen.
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