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Chinese independent travelers from Guangzhou to arrive Saturday

2012/04/24 16:16:04

Hong Kong, April 24 (CNA) Independent Chinese travelers from Guangzhou will visit Taiwan for the first time Saturday after restrictions on people from the city traveling to Taiwan on their own were recently lifted, a Chinese newspaper reported Tuesday.

About 100 independent travelers from the city are expected to visit, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

Most of them are young people, who have visited Taiwan before as part of tour groups and are interested in Taiwan's musical festivals, book fairs, and design exhibitions, Chinese travel agencies said.

The program, launched in the middle of last year, allows Chinese nationals to visit Taiwan for pleasure without having to be part of a tour group.

In the first 10 months of the program, only residents of Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen were eligible to enter Taiwan as independent travelers.

But beginning April 28, residents of six more major Chinese cities -- 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 daily entry limit for independent Chinese travelers will also be raised from 500 to 1,000, it said, and the program will be extended further to residents of Jinan, Xian, Fuzhou and Shenzhen later this year.

According to bureau statistics, about 29,000 Chinese independent travelers visited Taiwan under the program in the second half of 2011.

(By Stanley Cheung and Hanna Liu)