Pingtung's Liuqiu has seen a large influx of tourists during summer vacation. Some tour operators piled canoes, SUPs and other recreational equipment on the beach, attracting complaints from local residents.
The beach was full of canoes and SUPs early in the morning. Tourists have flooded Pingtung's Liuqiu Island during the summer vacation. Residents have complained that they have to compete with tourists to play in the water and even buy breakfast, but now, even tourists can't stand it.
Tourist: “We went to the Houshi Fringing Reef to enjoy the water there. But why are there all these SUPs and canoes? And then we went to Dafu and it was the same thing.”
The beach and ocean are filled with too much recreational equipment, which makes tourists worry about children's safety. Beaches such as Houshi, Dafuhsi, and Chungau are difficult to manage because the Fishing Port Act does not apply. Despite the constant persuasion from the Marine and Fisheries Management Office and other government entities, some operators still pile recreational gear on the beach, which has intensified the contradictions between residents, ecology, and tourism development.
Tsai Chun-chi, Chairperson, Taiwan Loo-Koo Yu Assoc.: “It's not that tourism development is bad. Instead, we can ask does Liuqiu still need so many tourists? Or does the island need so many operators? Or does it need more beds and breakfasts? I think everyone should start thinking about this.”
The number of tourists during summer vacation highlights the problem of Liuqiu being overloaded with tourists during the peak season. The Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area Administration and other units will hold a meeting to discuss measures to help lessen resident complaints.
Su Ruei-fang, Dir., Liuqiu Station, Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area Administration: “How to manage these open spaces involve linking relevant authorities together? There are also some legal issues we need to discuss. After some consultation and coordination between agencies, we will communicate with the tour operators.”
Environmental groups believe that although Liuqiu continues to develop tourism, it has not made more regulations to govern it. The government needs to formulate management measures, such as visitor quotas, as soon as possible so that residents or the local ecology will not have to compete with tourist operators for living space during the peak travel season.