Post-Quake Hualien Experiences Sharp Decline in Cruise Ship Tourism

6 out of the 13 international cruise ships scheduled to dock at Hualien Port this year have canceled their visits to Taiwan following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Hualien on April 3, according to the Hualien branch of Taiwan International Ports Corp. (TIPC).

During a TIPC press conference, Lu Chan-yu, a TIPC official, stated that although the main structures of Hualien Port remain intact, significant damage to the popular tourist destination Taroko National Park has affected the willingness of international cruise ships to dock.

In addition to the 6 cancellations, 4 cruise ships docked at Hualien Port in February and March. The status of the remaining three ships scheduled to dock in October and December remains uncertain.

To encourage international cruise ships to dock at Hualien Port after the earthquake, the branch announced that from April 25 to December 31, the passenger service fee and port area maintenance fee would be waived, in addition to existing incentive measures. However, these initiatives have not yet succeeded in boosting the local economy.

Elsewhere in Taiwan, TIPC statistics indicate that Keelung Port is expected to receive 193 international cruise ship visits this year, ~65% of the pre-pandemic 297 visits in 2019. Kaohsiung Port is projected to receive around 30 international cruise ship visits this year, surpassing the 29 visits recorded in 2019.

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