Choose Legal Accommodation for the Best Taipei Travel Experience
With the rise in the number of budget airlines, the number of free and independent travelers (FITs) from different countries visiting Taiwan has also been on the increase. Passengers on red-eye flights arrive late at night or early in the morning, and after arriving in the city many end up dragging their luggage around behind them in search of a hotel. Hotels in the area around Taipei Main Station have thus been sprouting up like bamboo shoots aer a spring rain.
Most of these newly opened hotels offer 24-hour check-in service, and provide guests with taxi-calling assistance, wake-up calls, and free luggage storage. Travelers can even enjoy temporary shower and dressing room convenience. At the entrance to each place of legal accommodation is a “Golden H Mark.” This certifies that this hotel has passed strict public-safety and fire-safety inspections pertaining to legal use of land, fire-prevention equipment, construction materials, elevator and ventilation systems, fire extinguishers, emergency exits, and so on. It can be said that this serves as a “safety guarantee” for travelers.
High-Quality Accommodation for Only Hundreds of NT Dollars
Located near the not-yet-opened airport MRT station, near the new “gateway to Taipei,” the Beimen (北 門), is Inn Cube 3S (品格子旅店 3S館), an affordable, unique backpackers’ hostel. Its small yet esthetic rooms, measuring less than one ping (坪; 3.305 square meters) each, feature everything a traveler needs, including a comfortable bed, television, and WiFi. Female-only rooms, showers, and restrooms are also thoughtfully provided, making this a place where female travel enthusiasts can feel safe and comfortable when visiting Taipei.
Inn Cube’s CEO, Wu Mengxuan (吳孟軒), once worked as an engineer in the Hsinchu Science Park, and is therefore well able to analyze visitor characteristics. He says that, “The increase in the number of visitors is directly and significantly related to the increase in flights offered by budget airlines. Taking South Korea as an example, there are at least five budget airlines with daily flights. Many tourists from that country are making their first visit to Taiwan, and their activity range is mainly Taipei City and New Taipei City.”
Due to the increase in travelers from South Korea, Inn Cube 3S has hired several employees who speak Korean, and Korean signage has been added. In addition, following the example of Korean department stores, a mouthwash dispenser has been installed to allow travelers to maintain fresh breath. Interestingly, old Taiwan toothpaste, fabric-fragrance pouch, and instant milk-tea packet brands have proven to be very popular souvenirs with Korean visitors. In 2015 there were 658,757 Korean visitors to Taiwan, an increase of 24.84 percent over 2014. This increase is closely linked to budget airlines and affordable high-quality accommodation and services.
Taipei City Government Continues Promotion of Hotel Service Quality
Shen Yonghua (沈永華), senior specialist of the Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government, notes that there are currently 17 budget airlines with flights to Taiwan. Most of their passengers are FITs. Taking 2015 as an example, 40 percent of newly opened hotels were youth hostels charging a bed rate or backpacker hostels similar to Inn Cube 3S. Taipei has more than 30 hostels, with 2,200 beds, offering affordable, quality accommodation at only hundreds of NT dollars per night.
Although each of these places features a unique decor, they share common characteristics such as spotless bathrooms, high-speed Internet access, and enthusiastic, cordial counter staff. In the future, effort will be made to promote subsidies for barrier-free accommodation environments and public safety, to guide older hotels in their renovation process and to provide people from diverse backgrounds with thoughtful service and Muslim-friendly accommodation, continuing to elevate the quality of accommodation services in Taipei.
*Search for legal places of accommodation on the TaiwanStay website (taiwanstay.net.tw)(Chinese), and before checking in, confirm that a chosen location has a legal registration number.
Source: TAIPEI Quarterly