Green Island Sees Tourist Price Gouging for Dragon Boat Festival

green island lighthouse
Photo by lienyuan lee via Wikimedia Commons

As tourism increased significantly at Green Island (綠島) in Taitung County during the four-day Dragon Boat Festival weekend, hotels and other travel service providers raised prices, sometimes by as much as 100% or more.

With an average of 5,000 to 6,000 people visiting the island off the southern coast each day, local tourism service providers had to manage crowds and ensure that they could capitalize on the tourist influx, UDN reported. In comparison, Green Island saw fewer than 600 tourists per day during the Chinese New Year holiday this year.

Hotels reportedly charged NT$2,800 (US$93) for rooms that normally rent for only NT$1,000 (US$33) per night. Motorbike rentals, which are popular for tourists to travel around Green Island, doubled prices from NT$300 (US$10) to NT$600 (US$20) per day.

One local tourist noted her disappointment in the price gouging to reporters in the area. She said that she spent nearly NT$13,000 (US$431) during the holiday, which would be enough for a couple days in Hong Kong, Thailand, or the Philippines.

Green Island Mayor Cheng Wen-jen (鄭文仁) said that with the increase in tourists to the island, businesses had to cope with the supply-demand imbalance. Therefore, the businesses had to raise prices. However, he said that while the government could not strictly regulate such price fluctuations, he asked businesses to avoid price gouging to encourage sustainable business development.

The Taitung County Consumer Protection Agency said that while some motorbike rental companies did double daily rates, there were others that were still available for NT$300-350.

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