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Kenting’s economy in the doldrums as tourist numbers continue to fall


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

While Jioufen’s Old Street in New Taipei City has been virtually bursting at the seams recently, business owners in Kenting, who have seen a collapse in the number of tourists to the area, can only look on and weep. According to statistics released by Kenting National Park Headquarters, this year more than 200,0000 fewer tourists visited the area than last year; an even steeper decline of 700,000 when compared with figures for the year before last.


According to the national park headquarters, during this year’s summer holiday period (July and August) approximately 930,000 tourists visited the Hengchun Peninsula, the first time the number has fallen below one million in the last five years.


The “Winter Is Coming” feeling that has descended over the peninsula is not just being felt by ordinary hotels and guesthouses, even Kenting’s upscale hotels are feeling the freeze. One upmarket hotel that normally charges over NT$10,000 per night to stay in one of its rooms, this summer lowered the price by NT$1,000, yet still experienced a more than 3 percent drop in the occupancy rate: The worst numbers for the hotel in 10 years. Other hotel owners have managed to keep the hotels’ occupancy rate above 80 percent, but have had to swallow a 30 percent drop in net turnover.


According to a veteran of Kenting’s hotel industry, despite hotels being forced to lower prices to keep the occupancy rate up, the good news is that “Kenting seems to be nearing the bottom of its economic slump. Hotels just need to maintain a nice environment, good service and reasonable prices, and then the only way is up.”


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