Taipei (Taiwan News)—Taiwan's tourism ambassador, OhBear, teamed up with Tourism Bureau chief Joe Chou (周永暉), to launch the nation's travel safety awareness week that will run from March 13-18, 2017.
OhBear joined important guests from the travel industry to raise placards with slogans raising travel awareness at the event's initiation ceremony on Wednesday.
Starting from 2017, the bureau will dedicate the third week of every March annually to promote travel safety awareness, and to ensure the government implements measures that strengthen travel safety.
Joe Chou (周永暉), Director General of Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications. (Taiwan News)
"Travel safety should be prioritized 365 days a year, and we are especially setting aside one week every year to raise travel safety awareness," said Chou.
Chou said the bureau will work on four areas to improve travel safety this year, including urging travel agencies to offer safer travel itineraries, scale up inspections of illegal hotels, increase safety inspections and emergency drills at tourist hot spots and recreational facilities, and implement safety regulations at recreational facilities.
He also reminded the public to be aware of their surroundings and abide by safety regulations at recreational facilities and tourism hot spots, noting two tourists lost their lives in the past from crossing the red safety line drawn around the iconic Queen's Head in northern Taiwan.
The public should check weather conditions before embarking on trips to mountainous areas or to the sea, and should avoid going to places prone to landslides after heavy rain, said Chou.
The bureau and Taiwan's travel industry pledged to improve the nation's travel safety by selecting only excellent quality buses, raise insurance premium, and offer more reasonably-priced travel packages.
Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, an agency of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), has been active in improving travel safety in the aftermath of a tragic tour bus accident on Feb. 12, 2017 that claimed 33 lives.