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Taiwan Strait islands most popular holiday destination for Dragon Boat Festival

Penghu is the only part of Taiwan where hotel occupancy rate reaches 50% for holiday

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Yuwengdao Lighthouse in Penghu. 

Yuwengdao Lighthouse in Penghu.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Strait archipelago of Penghu is the most popular destination for the June 3-5 Dragon Boat Festival holiday even though hotel bookings are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports said Saturday (May 28).

The country has been battling a surge in the number of local COVID infections, with figures ranging between 80,000 and 95,000 per day for the past few weeks. Transportation services from Taipei City’s Mass Rapid Transit to the Taiwan Railways Administration saw cuts due to falling passenger numbers, while bus companies have been struggling to survive.

The average hotel occupancy rate for all of Taiwan for the first two days of the three-day holiday is at 30.06%, according to data from the Tourism Bureau.

Nevertheless, Penghu County reported a hotel occupancy rate of 52.38% for the holiday, followed by the historic city of Tainan in south Taiwan, with 44.38%, CNA reported. Miaoli County came third with 43.9% and the outlying island of Matsu fourth with 41.89%.

Last year, as Taiwan issued a Level 3 COVID alert amid a surge of infections, hotel occupancy rates crashed to 5%, with most people staying home since even dining in at restaurants was banned.

Amusement parks have launched special packages for this year’s Dragon Boat Festival, while the Tourism Bureau said it was preparing measures for September to help the sector revive after the summer.