TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The number of travelers visiting Penghu, an island county that sits in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, plummeted to fewer than 4,000 in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government said Thursday (Aug. 26).
As the number of daily local transmissions surged to more than 400 in mid-May, the government raised the COVID alert to Level 3, leading more people to refrain from traveling around the country.
The Penghu archipelago, which most visitors reach by plane, was particularly vulnerable to the drop in tourism.
The islands registered a total of 417,844 visitors from January to July, a drop of more than 104,000 from the same period in 2020, CNA reported. The monthly total plunged to 3,676 to recover slightly in July with 7,272 arrivals.
Until May, the number of visitors had been rising compared to last year, but the Level 3 alert resulted in the cancellation of many activities and cuts in the frequency of transportation services between the county and Taiwan’s main island, the Penghu County Government said.
The alert was lowered to Level 2 in late July.
With the daily number of new local infections nationwide falling to low single figures, the county is confident that the travel sector will pick up in the second half of the year. The government is also mulling travel vouchers to boost domestic tourism.