TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's offshore archipelago of Penghu saw an overwhelming number of visitors over the last few weeks and in response the local government said Friday (July 31) it is considering charging each visitor a "traveling fee" to maintain the quality of local tourism.
Overseas travel restrictions mean many Taiwanese have chosen to spend their vacations in Penghu, a collection of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait. Government statistics suggest more than 260,000 visitors visited the archipelago in July, attracting heavy complaints from local residents.
Penghu County Tourism Department Director Chen Mei-ling (陳美齡) said in a press interview the government is reviewing the possible introduction of a "traveling fee" scheme to keep visitors to a manageable number. She said the charge would be set at NT$50 (US$1.70) to NT$100 per person and could go into effect as soon as 2022.
Chen said the 2020 Penghu International Fireworks Festival has attracted swarms of visitors and placed a heavy burden on the county's tourism resources. She added that some visitors have also damaged the local environment by littering, reported ETtoday.
Chen said the traveling fee scheme will not differentiate between Taiwanese and foreign nationals since its main purpose is to protect the archipelago. She said many countries have adopted similar measures in the past to control visitor numbers and the county government would continue to evaluate the appropriateness of its plan, reported CNA.