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Ascertain the Legality of a Hotel before Staying

Have you been making summer plans already? As more and more online hotel booking sites gain popularity, finding an affordable but beautiful place to stay only gets easier. However, one must take caution as the accommodation offering these once-in-a-lifetime deals are often without licenses and can prove a great disparity between the advertised pictures and the reality.
Chief of the Tourism Industry Division in the Department of Information and Tourism Ya-Hui Chen explains that there had been complaints by individuals who booked their stays based on the false advertisements of illegal websites and ended up with nightmarish rooms. One such case saw themselves in an old apartment with used Q-tips and non-sound proofed rooms, ruining their originally anticipated vacation and only deepened the dark circles under their eyes. Another case was attracted by the beautiful mountainous views that the suite supposedly offered, but found themselves in the window-less basement of the hotel as the hotel had “reached their capacity”. Not only were they greeted with darkness and humidness instead of the promised sunrises and blue skies, but they also found out that the hotel was operated illegally as the hotel cut all communications and offered no compensation for the ill services.
To prevent customers from falling into such traps, customers are recommended to consult the official Taipei tourism website (http://www.travel.taipei)(Chinese) and the official hotel booking website by the Tourism Bureau (http://taiwanstay.net.tw)(Chinese) for the list of legally operating hotels. The Department of Information and Tourism also emphasises their determination to protect the rights of the customers as well as eliminate illegal hotel operators: if provided with the booking website, proof of stay and the specific contact information of the hotel, the Department of Information and Tourism will fine such hotels 180,000 to 900,000 NTD upon investigation.