Luxury Hotels Criticized for Raising Buffet Prices 才發國旅券要振興市場 業者卻紛紛漲價?

Many high-end hotels raised buffet prices in November, leading to criticism from lawmakers. The Tourism Bureau says it is trying to convince hotels to put a hold on price hikes at least until Chinese New Year.

A five-star hotel in the Xinyi District recently announced it was raising its Friday afternoon tea and dinner buffet prices to, respectively, NT$1,290 and NT$1,890 per person. Many high-end Taipei hotels are doing the same. Lawmakers say these hotels' price increases are unreasonable, especially since the Tourism Bureau just issued 2.4 million domestic travel vouchers.

Lin Chun-hsien, Legislator (DPP): “Are you aware that afternoon tea prices have gone up 63 percent at the five-star hotel next door? It's ridiculous. Is some moral persuasion needed on your side? ”

Wang Kwo-tsai, Transportation and Communications Minister:“Everyone should raise prices gradually, and refrain from raising prices before the new year. What about after the new year? We've only had discussions with them (for before the new year). ”

Lin Chun-hsien, Legislator (DPP): “I also know that, especially with the domestic tourism market picking up -- we hope that people won't end up with a bad impression because of that. You printed 2.4 million domestic travel vouchers. Are they going to make any difference at this point? ”

The Tourism Bureau says it is holding discussions with hotels and hopes hotels can take one for the team to help the domestic tourism market recover and refrain from raising prices at least until after Chinese New Year.

Chang Shi-chung, Director-General, Tourism Bureau: “Price fixing is not allowed. Price fixing is illegal under the Fair Trade Act. We don't need to interfere further with (businesses) that have already raised prices and sold meal vouchers. However, some of those that haven't raised prices yet, including some that are planning to raise prices, have already indicated that they are willing to accommodate government policies.”

One online tourism website says domestic travel demand has gone up recently and it is trying to cash in by offering special deals.

Lin Min-hsun, KKday Manager: “The domestic tourism market has rebounded in the last two to three months. Revenues hit pre-pandemic levels in mid-May, with hotels performing the best.”

One Taipei hotel says Taipei and New Taipei hotels depended on foreign guests in the past, and higher room rates in central, southern, and eastern Taiwan are a reflection of soaring domestic demand. In contrast, Greater Taipei hotels have occupancy rates of less than 50 percent on weekdays and depend on special deals to fill rooms on weekends.