Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau Conducts Further Inspections: Identifies 4 Hotel Operators for Price Gouging
The Kaohsiung City Government is dedicated to establishing itself as an international hub for concerts. In 2023, the city successfully attracted numerous renowned domestic and international artists, featuring performances by New Kids on the Block, Mayday, A-Mei, BLACKPINK in the first half of the year, followed by Grasshopper, Coldplay, and Rachel Liang in October and November. The coming year promises even more star-studded events with appearances by OneRepublic, Ed Sheeran, Rod Stewart, and other high-profile artists.
While these concert events have significantly boosted Kaohsiung's tourism economy and led to a surge in hotel accommodation demand, recent observations have revealed some unscrupulous operators taking advantage of the situation by inflating room prices. This behavior has not only impacted Kaohsiung's tourism image but also raised concerns about fair pricing practices.
To curb this opportunistic pricing behavior, the Kaohsiung City Government Tourism Bureau conducted a hotel price inspection on the 10th of this month. Four violators were identified during the inspection, and the highest penalty of 50,000 NTD was imposed. This proactive approach aims to protect consumer rights and wallets, ensuring that visitors to Kaohsiung for concerts can have an enjoyable and worry-free experience, both in terms of entertainment and accommodation.
Tourism Bureau Director Kao Min-lin stated that during every concert in Kaohsiung, finding hotel accommodations becomes a challenging task. With the upcoming concerts by the British band Coldplay and Rachel Liang on November 11th, the booking rate for city hotels has already exceeded 90%, with some establishments on the verge of being fully booked. This has significantly boosted the city's tourism revenue. However, it has been observed that some hotel operators are taking advantage of the situation by inflating room prices.
In response to this, the Tourism Bureau has once again conducted inspections on hotel prices. A total of 12 hotels were inspected, and it was found that World Union Commercial Hotel, Riverside Hotel, Lili Motel Pier-2, and Circle Hostel exceeded the regulated room prices. As per regulations, they will face a maximum fine of 50,000 NTD, and their violations will be publicly disclosed.
The Tourism Bureau emphasizes that it will continue to strengthen the frequency and intensity of price inspections. If any operators persist in maliciously inflating prices without improvement, consecutive penalties will be imposed without hesitation. This stern approach is aimed at protecting consumers' wallets and maintaining the city's tourism image.
The Tourism Bureau emphasizes that, in accordance with the regulations for hotel management and bed and breakfast operations, hotel establishments are required to report their room prices to the local competent authority for record-keeping. They are prohibited from charging prices higher than the recorded room rates. If a hotel charges guests a rate exceeding the recorded price, in accordance with the "Development of Tourism Act," the competent authority may, depending on the severity of the situation, issue an improvement order or impose a fine ranging from 10,000 NTD to 50,000 NTD.
The Tourism Bureau urges accommodation providers to establish reasonable recorded room rates and refrain from arbitrarily inflating prices. Violators will face legal penalties, and there will be no leniency. The Bureau encourages self-discipline among operators and calls for collective efforts to maintain order in the accommodation market, thereby establishing a high-quality reputation for lodging in the city. This, in turn, will encourage a continuous influx of tourists to explore Kaohsiung.
The Tourism Bureau emphasizes that, to ensure the sustainable development of the tourism industry in the city, accommodation providers should autonomously set prices for weekdays and weekends without deviating from market trends. During festive holidays or large-scale events that attract a significant influx of tourists, accommodation providers are urged not to maliciously inflate prices. The Bureau reiterates its call for operators to collectively uphold the positive image of tourism in Kaohsiung, ensuring that tourists have enjoyable vacations in the city.
The Tourism Bureau advises travelers to check the legality and approved room rates of accommodations on the Taiwan Accommodation Network or by contacting the Tourism Bureau before making reservations. It is recommended to choose legally registered hotels or bed and breakfasts. In case of any disputes, consumers can file complaints through the online complaint system of the Consumer Protection Department at 1950 or contact the Kaohsiung City Government Tourism Bureau at 07-7409802.