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Independent Chinese tourist arrivals forecast to hit 1 million in 2014

2014/07/18 17:14:28

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) The number independent Chinese visitors to Taiwan is expected to break the 1 million mark this year, given that China is preparing to expand the program to more of its cities, Taiwan's Tourism Bureau said Friday.

In the first half of the year, about 500,000 Chinese travelers visited Taiwan independent of tour groups, averaging 2,785 per day, said Tourism Bureau Director General David Hsieh.

The daily average was twice what it was last year, he said, adding that the total number for the year could exceed 1 million if the momentum continues.

Since China began in June 2011 to allow its citizens to make independent visits to Taiwan, over 1.24 million people have visited under the program, Hsieh said.

In a joint announcement with his Chinese counterpart earlier in the day, Hsieh said China will now add 10 more cities to the list of those whose residents are allowed to make independent visits to Taiwan, bringing the total number of cities to 36.

Hsieh serves concurrently as chairman of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association, while his counterpart Shao Qiwei chairs the Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange and is also director of China's Tourism Administration.

The cities of Harbin, Taiyuan, Nanchang, Guiyang, Dalian, Wuxi, Wenzhou, Zhungshan, Yantai and Zhangzhou will be added to the list Aug. 18

Taiwan, however, will retain its daily ceilings of 4,000 independent Chinese travelers and 5,000 in tour groups.

(By Angela Tsai, Rita Cheng and Elizabeth Hsu)
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