Transportation ministry announces proposed conservation fee

Local and international bird lovers are participate in this year’s Taiwan Birdathon (2017 臺灣國際觀鳥馬拉松大賽) in this file photo from Sept. 26, 2017. Taiwan's Tourism Bureau plans to charge a "conservation fee" on visitors to tourist and other designated scenic areas to prevent the negative impacts of tourism on the environment. (CNA)

Taipei (CNA) – Visitors to tourist and other designated scenic areas throughout Taiwan will soon be charged a “conservation fee,” according to an administrative order issued by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (交通部).

Following the example of the Philippines and Japan to prevent the negative impacts of tourism on the environment, the ministry’s Tourism Bureau (觀光局) is adopting the policy to strengthen conservation efforts.

According to the administrative order, which was announced on Thursday and has a notice period of two months before taking effect, the fee will be NT$30 (US$0.99) to NT$60 for areas that get under 100,000 visitors a year, NT$60 to NT$120 for areas with between 100,000 and 500,000 visitors, and NT$120 to NT$200 for areas with over 500,000 visitors.

The designation of an area as a tourist or designated scenic area that requires a fee is up to the discretion of the agency that governs the specific area.

These agencies can decide how much of a park falls into the area that would charge a fee, and whether the fee charged to visitors will differ based on such factors as nationality or time of year (whether it is peak season or low season).

Some people will be exempt from having to pay the fee, including those who are residents of the designated area, those who have to go into the area for official reasons, and those under 3 years of age. 

By Wang Shu-fen and Kuan-lin Liu