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Tourism losses estimated at over NT$800 million: Tourism Bureau chief
Central News Agency
2009-08-11 09:38 PM
Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) The tourism sector's losses in six national scenic areas run by the Tourism Bureau have initially been estimated in excess of NT$800 million (US$24.4 million) in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai reported Tuesday.

According to Lai, Morakot has led to losses worth some NT$670 million in the six national scenic areas in terms of income and facilities, not including damage worth some NT$137 million to 17 hotels, such as the 30-year-old Chinsuai Hotel in the Chihpen hot spring area of Taitung County, which collapsed early Sunday due to serious landslides.

Of the national scenic areas, the Maolin National Scenic Area in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung County was the hardest hit, Lai went on, with a three-story building housing its administration headquarters washed away by floods, while a tourism information center run by the Tourism Bureau in nearby Liouguei township was also seriously damaged.

No damage to the country's prime recreational parks was reported, while no workers in tourist spots and no foreign or local tourists were injured during the typhoon, according to Lai.

Later that same day, Lai and Yao Ta-kuang, chairman of Taiwan's Travel Agent Association, jointly announced a donation of NT$10 million from the tourism sector to victims affected by Morakot -- the worst typhoon to hit southern Taiwan in 50 years.

(By Flor Wang)

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