More than 900 Hong Kong tourists safe following Taiwan’s Hualien earthquake, travel agency cancels April tours

545

3rd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Over 900 Hong Kong tourists are reported to be safe after a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Hualien, Taiwan, a popular destination among Hong Kong travellers. The Hong Kong Tourism Industry Council revealed that approximately 30 tour groups, involving a total of 900 individuals, are currently in Taiwan. However, only 2 to 3 of these groups are situated in Yilan, with no groups in Hualien. The council has also received inquiries from independent travellers. The heads of two local travel agencies confirmed the safety of their tour members in the affected areas and stated that they will assess the situation before deciding whether to continue with the itineraries. Additionally, the Immigration Department has received distress calls from 12 Hong Kong citizens in the region, but their safety has been confirmed.

Mrs. Gianna Hsu Wong Mei-lun, Chairperson of the Travel Industry Council, disclosed that two package tour groups had originally planned to visit Hualien but have revised their itineraries due to the earthquake, opting not to proceed with their trips to the affected area. She further mentioned that around ten more tour groups are scheduled to depart over the next two days, none of which include visits to Hualien.

WWPKG, another travel agency, shared a report from their tour leader regarding a group staying near Hualien in Yilan. The leader reported that minor tremors started in the early hours of the morning and became more noticeable by 8am. During the earthquake, some group members were having breakfast in the hotel’s dining area. Despite a subsequent power outage in the hotel, the entire group remained safe. They departed for Taipei after 10am and are expected to arrive at the airport by 4pm EGL Tours announced the cancellation of their April tour groups to Hualien, offering customers the option to transfer to alternative destinations or receive full refunds.

EGL Tours also stated that they have a total of 11 tour groups, consisting of approximately 300 individuals, in Taiwan. They assured that all group members are safe and emphasized the importance of assessing the post-earthquake situation before finalising any travel plans. Furthermore, EGL Tours revealed that they have a cruise tour group in Japan, which was originally scheduled to dock at Ishigaki Island in Okinawa today. While the safety of the group members is confirmed, the situation at the pier remains unknown, and arrangements are being made.