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City Aids Local Hotel Businesses in Sustainability Transitions

Refillable containers holding shampoo and shower gel at a local hotelWhile the Tomb Sweeping Day long weekend brought business opportunities to local hotels and inns, the hotel business is still facing serious challenges on the road of recovery in areas spanning labor shortage to utility fee hike to policy banning single-use toiletries. 


In addition to bringing the opinions of local hotel businesses to the central government and requesting for grace periods before implementing related measures, the Department of Information and Tourism (TPEDOIT) is also working closely with businesses to strengthen power usage management and collaborating with the Department of Labor to hold job fairs to attract more talents for the industry.


The Environmental Protection Agency announced the draft for “Guideline on Limiting Use of Single-use Hotel Amenities and Implementation” in early 2023. The guideline sets July 1, 2023 as the starting date of the first phase where hotels are not allowed to proactively provide single-use amenities to customers. The document also outlines a second phase measure where hotel rooms without amenities are required to reduce room rates by 5-percent or more when compared to ones that provide amenities. 


TPEDOIT pointed out that while it views sustainable tourism positively, the central government should enforce a grace period to allow businesses to prepare for the new directives. Hopefully, clarifying details on implementation will make it easier for businesses to follow, as well as reducing the burden of Department of Environmental Protection staff when carrying out future inspections. It also calls upon businesses to adjust practices to accommodate the vision of Net Zero and take advantage of opportunities under green tourism economy.


Regarding the possibility of a significant hike in electricity prices after April and the likely impact upon hotel businesses, TPEDOIT Commissioner Chen Shu-hui stressed that the majority of hotels already face tremendous pressure in operation, having slowly recovering from business downturn during the pandemic. She asks the central government to reconsider the decision on raising utility rates. On the other hand, she suggested businesses to optimize power-use management by replacing older, more inefficient appliances with energy-saving products. 


As for manpower shortages, TPEDOIT is in talks with Tourism Bureau on the possibility of relaxing the restrictions on foreign students and graduates in Taiwan to work in hotel and accommodation industries. The agency also partnered with the Employment Services Office to organize a hotel industry job fair on February 24.