Record number of people travel via mini-three links in 2017
Taipei, Jan. 2 (CNA) In 2017, more than 1.75 million people traveled using the mini-three links, about 10,000 more than the previous year, with the number of Chinese tourists increasing by 1.08 percent, according to Kinmen County Government Tuesday.
Last year, a total of 1,754,351 people traveled via the mini-three links, an increase of 12,327 from the previous year or 0.71 percent, of which 1,013,277 were Taiwan nationals, an increase of 2,223 or 0.22 percent, according to Kinmen County Tourism Department.
Chinese travelers accounted for 702,123 travelers, an increase of 7,571, or 1.08 percent, according to the department.
Visa-on-arrival travelers totaled 86,376, an increase of 26,585, or 45.46 percent.
Several new records were set. For example, on Oct. 2, 7,699 people traveled to Kinmen while Nov. 11 saw 530 visa-on-arrival applications, according to the tourism department.
In October, 175,912 people traveled to Kinmen of which 79,778 were Chinese nationals, while for 2017, 702,123 Chinese nationals visited, 43,262 of whom filed visa-on-arrival applications, according to tourism department officials.
Director-general of Kinmen Transportation and Tourism Bureau Chen Mei-ling (陳美齡) said last year's statistics show that tourism has changed, with independent travel increasing year by year and becoming more important.
Despite the current cooling of cross-strait relations and the obvious decrease in the number of Chinese tourists, Kinmen still interacts closely with China in numerous areas, including receiving water from China, environmental protection, tourism, culture, sports, religion etc., hence the increase in visitors.
Since Monday, Chinese nationals holding a permit for travel to Taiwan from Fujian Province in China are no longer required to present a so-called G note detailing the date and purpose of their travel on arrival in Kinmen or Lienchiang (Matsu) counties.
The time needed to review applications by Chinese citizens to visit via direct ferry for artistic and business exchanges has also been reduced.
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