Beijing, April 27 (CNA) Fifty-eight independent travelers from China's Guangzhou Province will arrive in Taiwan Saturday,the first day residents of the Chinese city will be allowed toenter Taiwan without having to be part of a tour group, theTaipei-based Taiwan Strait Tourism Association said.
Guangzhou is among six Chinese cities to be newly includedin Taiwan's Free Independent Traveler program, launched in themiddle of last year, which allows Chinese people to visit the country on their own.
In the first 10 months of the program, only residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen were eligible to enter Taiwan as independent travelers.
From April 28, however, residents of the cities of Tianjin,Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu will also be able to participate in the program, according to the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's main China policy planning agency.
The program will be further extended later this year to residents of Jinan, Xian, Fuzhou and Shenzhen.
Taiwan Strait Tourism Association staff stationed in Beijing said that 23 independent travelers from Hangzhou and eight from Nanjing will also fly to Taiwan that day.
There will be no arrivals from the other three cities because would-be travelers from there were unable to obtain entry permits in time,they said.
According to Taiwan Tourism Bureau statistics, about 29,000 Chinese independent travelers visited Taiwan under the program in the second half of 2011.
(By Chiu Kuo-chiang and Elizabeth Hsu)