Hotel Businesses in Yilan Suffering Due to COVID-19 疫情衝擊觀光 宜蘭礁溪旅宿沒生意

G. Chen
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Hotel businesses are once again taking a big blow. In Yilan, five-star hotels have announced to temporarily arrange for employees go on long leaves.  

The restaurant is empty. There are barely any cars or people on the streets. Hotels that are usually very popular in Jiaoxi Township of Yilan are now suffering tremendously with their businesses. Five-star hotels have announced to temporarily suspend restaurant services during the weekdays. Hotel Royal in Jiaoxi, for example, has announced to temporarily discontinue lunch buffets during the weekdays.

Hu Ya-ting, PR, Hotel Royal Jiaoxi: “Our buffets will not available during the week for now, because there are very few customers now. We don't want to be wasteful.”

Since the new COVID-19 surge started at the end of March, hotel bookings each month have been dropped to only 10 to 20 percent compared to the past. Hotel operators in Yilan predicted that matters would be worse in June if the pandemic does not get better. Hotel operators are crying for help from the government to lower house tax and land value tax during this difficult time.

Wang Wen-hsin, Chairperson, Yilan Association of Tourism: “I hope the government would be able to subsidize us like two years ago with employee salaries and house tax and land value tax.”

Li Tung-ju, Director, Business and Tourism Department, Yilan County: “If hotel operators run into a lot of trouble, we will do our best to communicate their difficulties to the central government. The county government and related agencies will also sit down with the operators and offer the necessary assistance.”

According to the Yilan County Government, 68 people got laid off in April. Nine of them were in the restaurant and hotel businesses, which accounts for about 13.2 percent of the total number of people that got laid off. So far, local authorities do not see large scale lay-offs or reduced shifts within the industry. The county government said they will continue to monitor developments, gather opinions and offer assistance whenever needed.