Opening of Taiwan’s Dongsha Island to tourists is still 2 to 3 years away: MOI

The biggest and most pressing issue that deters the island from opening to tourists is sewage disposal

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – People who had planned to take a sightseeing trip to Dongsha Island will still have to wait for two to three years before their trip can become a reality, according to a Ministry of Interior (MOI) official.

The MOI said in January that it planned to launch three Dongsha Island biological tours via charter flights this year, and Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) who visited the island early this year also announced that the island would be open to tourists in April or May, Central News Agency reported on Wednesday (May 22).

However, Wang Dong-yong (王東永), chief secretary of Construction and Planning Agency, MOI, told reporters who pried about the issue during a routine MOI press confernce, that the transportation and public facilities on the island are not adequate to open the island to tourists, with the biggest and most pressing issue being sewage disposal.

He said sewage disposal on the island is still under planning, and no such projects have been contracted out. He estimated that it will take about two to three years for the entire infrastructure to be completed, and before that, the island will not be open for tourism.

As Dongsha is located far away in the South China Sea, a flight from Taiwan to Dongsha takes more than an hour, Wang said. All materials and machinery needed for the project will have to be shipped to the island from Taiwan, so it takes time, he added.