Taiwan to give 500,000 tourists perks worth US$165 each to boost economy

TAIPEI (Bloomberg): Taiwan will offer 500,000 tourists a cash or discount incentive this year as it tries to shore up its post-pandemic travel industry and boost spending.

The incentives, worth NT$5,000 (US$165) each, were announced Thursday (Feb 23) as part of a NT$5.3 billion package to attract international tourists.

While some details were not yet available, including whether there were any eligibility requirements or how people would be chosen, officials said in a statement that the money may be handed out electronically or as discounts for accommodation.

“We hope to accelerate and expand efforts for international tourists to come to Taiwan,” Lin Fu-shan, department director of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, said at a press briefing.

The spending plan also included a proposal to offer travel agencies NT$10,000 each for groups of at least eight tourists, and NT$20,000 each for groups of at least 15 tourists.

Taiwan is looking for ways to boost its economy after removing Covid curbs last year. Growth is expected to slow in 2023 as the trade-dependent island struggles with a dropoff in exports, making it more important to spur activity through domestic demand and tourism.

Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for about 4% of Taiwan’s gross domestic product, according to Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau.

But visits came to a near-standstill as Taiwan closed its borders and implemented quarantine rules to contain the virus. Geopolitical tensions have also chilled the industry, as China banned individual tourists traveling to Taiwan in 2019, and last month left it off a list of 20 permitted destinations for Chinese tour groups.

Taiwan has taken some steps to welcome visitors, including reopening its borders to individual travelers from Hong Kong and Macau this month. The government wants to attract six million tourists this year, Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai

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How Do You Combat Feeling “Too Old” When Traveling Solo in Your 30s?

Recently, a woman shared her experience about feeling “too old” as a solo traveler, and for the sake of her story, we will call her Emma. Emma started traveling solo when she turned 30, and even back then, she noticed a considerable age gap between herself and most travelers in their early 20s. 

She felt like they thought she was “too old and boring,” so they didn’t talk much to her or invite her to group activities. This made her feel like she couldn’t relate to people much younger than her and didn’t know what to talk about to keep a conversation going for more than two minutes.

Now at 33, Emma is on a new solo trip for the next five months, but she is finding it hard to enjoy because she constantly feels reminded about how old she is. She can’t help but feel like she should be doing something more “appropriate” for other people her age.

Emma acknowledges that many of these thoughts are likely just in her head, or do to social pressures. However, she wonders if people really do think she needs to be younger for solo traveling.

At times, she meets people on her travels who are even older than she is but still seem like they can relate to younger travelers and socialize well with them. She wants to be like this!

Emma believes that it may not be an age thing, but rather that her insecurities are due to her lack of social skills, as she is on the autism spectrum and struggles with socializing in general. After she asked for opinions, here were the online responses for how others combat feeling “old” when traveling solo.

Stay at Hotels, Not Hostels

One person responded with advice that they were a 41-year-old

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Man accused of raping Ohio girl who was forced to travel out of state for abortion is indicted

The man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl who had to travel from Ohio to Indiana for an abortion has now been indicted.

Gerson Fuentes, 27, appeared in a court in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday where he was indicted on two counts of felony rape.

He was arrested on 12 July following the alleged rape of a child who travelled to Indiana for an abortion on 30 June.

Mr Fuentes, who has been held in a Columbus jail since his arrest, allegedly told a police officer that he raped the child on two occasions, although the timing and circumstances were unclear.

While he has not entered a plea, the indictment filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas said the victim was aged nine when the alleged rapes happened. No further details were released.

A police officer told the court last week that Mr Fuentes admitted to raping the 10-year-old on two occasions following his arrest, which came after weeks of scrunity about the story.

The case made headlines after an Indiana doctor, Dr Caitlin Bernard, told the Indianopolis Star on 1 July that she had performed an abortion on the 10-year-old child.

Ohio’s abortion laws do not have exceptions for cases of incest and rape or those involving minors.

Fox News host Jesse Watters had been among those to rubbish the story earlier this month and described the claims asyear-old-b2123618.html” data-ylk=”slk:a “hoax”” class=”link “a “hoax” created by the “mainstream media” and Democrats to stoke backlash against the Supreme Court.

Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat” bill, which forbids abortions after the six week mark, was introduced in the hours after the Supreme Court ruling to overturn abortion rights guaranteed by the decision in Roe v Wade on 24 June.

Mr Fuemtes is due to appear again in

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How clients can benefit from rising CPI rates triggering a financial review

Much of the increase was due to gasoline prices increasing by 54.6% since last June, but seven of the CPI’s eight major components had also risen by 3% or more in that time. That included food, household operations, furnishing, and equipment, clothing and footwear, health and personal care, and recreation.

The passenger vehicle index rose by 8.2%. Service prices climbed 5.2% year over year in June. Travel costs also rose, with accommodation 49.7% higher year over year and air transportation rising 6.4% month over month since May. Prices also rose more in June than in May in all of the provinces except British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

With clients being squeezed in almost every direction, Rubach expressed particular concern for those who may have to renew their mortgages in five years, when they may have just qualified now. Given that interest rates could climb to 8% from the 1.2% that they may have just qualified for, and incomes not keeping pace with that, she said, “people need to get in front of that. Don’t let it become a problem or you could be in trouble in four or five years.”

Rubach encouraged advisors to dust off the financial plans that they’ve already done with their clients or create those to help their clients get a solid financial picture of their income, expenses, and goals, and how all of those fit together. If there are challenges, such as renewing a mortgage at much higher rates later, it’s time to help them consolidate and make the essential choices now before they risk losing their credit-worthiness, which could force them to sell their homes.

“Clients need to have a plan to understand the implications of their decisions,” said Rubach. “A plan doesn’t mean sacrifice and torture. It means you know where you’re

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Elon Musk Snapped Enjoying Beach Vacation With Bikini-Clad Friend

KEY POINTS

  • Elon Musk was spotted enjoying a luxurious beach vacation in Mykonos, Greece
  • The Tesla CEO was seen on a private boat with pals Sarah Staudinger and Ari Emanuel
  • Natasha Bassett, who was linked to Musk in recent months, was noticeably missing from the outing

Elon Musk was spotted enjoying a luxurious getaway in Mykonos, Greece, with some pals after it was revealed that he fathered 10 children with three different women.

On Friday, the 51-year-old billionaire spent time on a boat with his pal Sarah Staudinger, her new husband, Endeavour CEO Ari Emanuel, and other friends, Daily Mail reported.

Photos shared by the outlet showed the Tesla CEO sporting a casual outfit, including a plain T-shirt, black swim shorts and a pair of classic aviators, for the outing. His 33-year-old fashion designer pal, on the other hand, flaunted her figure in a yellow bikini top and matching slim-fit skirt.

Before boarding the private boat, the group also enjoyed a meal at the Spilia Seaside Restaurant, one of Mykonos’ best hotspots that serve fresh and authentic Mediterranean dishes, according to Daily Mail.

However, Musk’s “on-off” girlfriend Natasha Bassett was noticeably missing from the outing.

The 27-year-old actress was previously photographed exiting Musk’s private jet in Los Angeles in February, according to Page Six.

In May, she and the SpaceX founder were photographed enjoying a romantic getaway in St. Tropez, France, in celebration of Memorial Day. The pair were seen having lunch and engaging in animated conversation at the Cheval Blanc hotel in the coastal town on the French Riviera, Page Six reported.

A day before the sighting, Musk and Bassett attended the star-studded wedding of Staudinger and Emanuel in St. Tropez, according to the outlet.

Bassett most recently starred in the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic “Elvis”

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‘Hacks’ Writers Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs And Jen Statsky On Their Second Emmy Nom And Getting To Write For A “Gifted And Incredible” Cast

Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky scored their second Emmy nomination on Tuesday in the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series category for their work on Hacks. The series netted 17 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and an Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series nomination for Aniello.

Having won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series last year with the pilot script of Hacks, the trio of writers took on the challenge of trying to one-up themselves. “That was the challenge of the whole season,” Downs laughs. “We really wanted to raise the bar and deliver an even stronger season than season one, and it’s so gratifying that the academy recognized us in even more nominations this year. It’s really unbelievable.”

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This year, the script submitted for consideration was the season 2 finale, “The One, the Only”. “One thing that we try to do with every season of television is to really build towards a climax,” says Aniello, “and have character stories kind of come to a head and intertwine and interweave in a way that heightens everybody’s characters and relationships… We felt like [the season finale] was one that was hopefully worthy of people’s love.”

Hacks revolves around the dysfunctional relationship between Deborah Vance and Ava, played by Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. Both Smart and Einbinder have received Emmy nominations this year, with Smart having won an Emmy for Hacks last year. “We’re so incredibly happy and proud of them for the nominations,” says Statsky. “As a writer, it’s such a gift to get to write for an entire cast, including Jean and Hannah, that are so gifted and incredible. And it really widens the breadth of what you can do. We know that anything we

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Carolyn Hax: Sister wants guests at family’s annual beach vacation

Comment

Dear Carolyn: My sister and I live in different states but our families spend every Christmas together and take a beach trip to the same beach every year for the past 16 years. These occasions are the highlight of our and our kids’ year. Sometimes the beach is one week, sometimes two. This year it’s one because of college schedules and the soaring cost of vacation rentals.

My sister mentioned that she wanted her best friend (who lives in her same town) to come for a night. I said sure — it will be my sister’s birthday that night as well, and we have one extra bedroom. Then she mentioned that it’s actually her best friend plus the friend’s college friend and his daughter, who are going through some sort of tough time. When I said we wouldn’t have enough bedrooms, she said her best friend planned to camp on the lawn.

I am trying to succinctly identify what about this bothers me most so that I can try to address it, but am struggling. I am pretty sure I can shut down the camping on the lawn, as I’m confident it’s a violation of the lease agreement I signed — the friend can sleep on a couch or something if this all transpires. I think what probably bugs me most is that my sister is choosing to spend time with her best friend (and two complete strangers?), a friend she sees nearly every day at home, during a short window we have for our families to be together.

I think maybe a lesser concern is that I know the burden will fall to me to cook for and clean up after these people. When I asked my sister exactly what the plan was, so

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Getlink’s core profit soars as travellers return, while Eleclink shows promise

By Olivier Sorgho and Charlotte Lavin

(Reuters) – Channel Tunnel operator Getlink said on Thursday its half-year core profit more than tripled from a year earlier, beating analyst expectations on the back of rises in cross-Channel traffic and its new Eleclink project.

“People feel like travelling this summer,” Getlink’s Chief executive Yann Leriche told journalists in a call, adding that the lifting of restrictions is helping its volumes.

Traffic across the firm’s Channel Tunnel is picking up this year as pandemic-related travel curbs ease in Europe.

The France-based group’s half-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 206% year-on-year to 309 million euros ($314 million), above a company-compiled consensus which had expected 282 million.

Getlink’s business took a hit in recent years as COVID-19 travel restrictions weighed on its core Eurotunnel business.

Train operator Eurostar, a key Getlink client running high-speed connections between London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, saw its traffic rise by 1,535% in the months January-June.

Getlink earlier this month said its Shuttle traffic rose for a sixth consecutive month in June, as both trucks and passenger vehicles crossings rose on last year.

ELECLINK AT A TIME OF ENERGY SHORTAGE

Getlink’s new Eleclink unit, a cable inside the Channel Tunnel which enables electricity exchange between the UK and France, contributed 35 million euros in revenue in its first 5 weeks of operations, the firm said. Leriche added its launch comes at an “ideal” time amid energy shortages.

“Eleclink was put in service at a moment when … France needs energy,” the CEO said during the call, while Chairman Jacques Gounon added “We don’t know what will happen in the energy field in the next six months,”

France is grappling with a looming energy crisis as unexpected maintenance at energy giant EDF’s nuclear reactors heaps additional

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