The Hakka Affairs Council yesterday said it plans to give out 400,000 sets of vouchers worth NT$500 (US$18.04) each in an effort to boost spending on businesses in Hakka communities.
The aim of the voucher program would be to draw visitors to the nation’s Hakka villages to experience their lifestyle and culture of “slow travel, slow food and slow living,” as well as their scenery and hospitality, the council said.
In addition to revitalizing the local economy in Hakka communities, the program would show businesses in those areas that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a decline in visitor numbers, the council “has always been there,” it said.
The program, which would cost NT$200 million, is expected to encourage at least 1 million visitors to spend and increase the total economic output of Hakka communities by more than NT$1.6 billion, it said.
It would boost the development of industries in Hakka villages, it added.
Starting on Wednesday next week, people can enter a draw to receive the vouchers through the Executive Yuan’s Quintuple Stimulus Voucher program Web site, the council said.
Winners would be notified by text messages, it said, adding that a list of recipients would be published on the site.
People would be able to spend the vouchers by scanning a code on their mobile phones, the council said.
Starting on Oct. 8, the council plans to begin recruiting at least 2,000 businesses — including restaurants, guest houses and retailers, among others — at 70 “key development areas of Hakka culture” in 11 cities and counties nationwide, it said.
Under the Hakka Basic Act (客家基本法), key development areas of Hakka culture refer to townships, cities and districts in which Hakka make up more than one-third of the population.
Such places are designated by the council to strengthen the passing down and development of the Hakka language, as well as its culture and cultural industries, the act says.
E-commerce platforms, department stores, hypermarkets and national chain stores would not be included in the voucher program, the council said.
According to a tentative schedule laid out by the council, recipients of the vouchers would have from the middle of November to April 30 next year to use them.
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