Tourism Bureau pro­motes long lay­overs

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan has long of­fered free half-day tour packages to trav­el­ers with long lay­overs while tran­sit­ing through the coun­try to help them kill time, but the ser­vice re­mains lit­tle known to both lo­cal res­i­dents and over­seas vis­i­tors.

The ser­vice, launched in 2004, is avail­able to pas­sen­gers with seven to 24-hour lay­overs at Tai­wan Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port be­fore their next con­nect­ing flight.

The only catch is that trav­el­ers must have a valid Tai­wan visa or come from coun­tries given visa-free en­try into Tai­wan to be el­i­gi­ble for the tours, ac­cord­ing to the Tourism Bureau.

De­spite be­ing a fix­ture at the air­port for 11 years, the tour ser­vice, which in­cludes free trans­porta­tion and a tour guide, is not widely known.

“There’s plenty of room for us­age to in­crease,” a Tourism Bureau of­fi­cial in charge of the half-day tours told CNA on Mon­day.

Tourism Bureau Deputy Di­rec­tor­Gen­eral Wayne Liu said Tai­wan is a tran­sit stop for many peo­ple trav­el­ing from the west coast of the United States to Southeast Asia, and his agency hopes to leave trav­el­ers with a good im­age of Tai­wan through the half-day tours.

Once the MRT line con­nect­ing Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Taipei is put into ser­vice by the end of this year, trav­el­ers want­ing a shorter out­ing will have even more con­ve­nient ac­cess to at­trac­tions in Tai­wan’s cap­i­tal city, about a 40-minute drive from the air­port, Liu said.

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