Taiwan High Speed Rail, hotels work to cushion impact of Wuhan virus scare

Nation’s leading transportation system ramps up effort to reduce chances of infection

Hotel worker sanitizes room. (THSR photo)

Hotel worker sanitizes room. (THSR photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) is joining partnering hotels in delivering 12 promises that will assure the safety of customers amid coronavirus fears expected to hurt the island nation’s tourism industry.

The promises entail rigorous hygiene practices at 233 lodging businesses. These include taking the temperatures of staff, mandatory mask wearing, disinfecting rooms and public areas, food safety control, promoting disease prevention information, providing sanitizer to customers, and offering unconditional refunds in the event of travel restrictions or reported cases of coronavirus.

In addition, the THSR network will also be subject to strengthened sterilization efforts to reduce infection risks. Toilets, escalators, ticketing booths, train cars, and surfaces frequently touched by passengers will be continuously wiped with alcohol, and riders could have their temperatures taken anytime.

The impact of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is being felt across many sectors, with the recreational industry being among the hardest hit. A number of hotel chains in Taiwan are launching hot deals to woo clients, while Sherwood has encouraged employees to go on vacation instead of furloughing them as some tech companies have done, reported UDN.

Edward Liu (劉文治), business tycoon and chairman of Sherwood and Marriott franchises, urged the government to adopt supportive measures to prop up the travel industry. Tax breaks will be a good start to help faltering businesses weather the crisis, he suggested.