Mainland China tourists to Taiwan expected to reach 600,000

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan expected cross-Strait tourism to attract at least 600,000 mainland tourists this year, Monday’s China Daily reported.

The ambitious target comes one year after the island was opened up to mainland tourists.

About 383,300 mainland tourists visited the island in the past year, according to the Cross-Straits Tourism Association (CSTA) in Beijing.

Both sides want to grow the figure to at least 600,000 this year.

taiwan beachDuring a round table conference in Beijing on Saturday, CSTA President Shao Qiwei and Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA) Chairwoman Janice Lai declared the past year’s achievement “a good start”.

TSTA statistics suggested that 85 percent of mainland tourists were satisfied with their trips to Taiwan.

Fewer than 10 percent were not satisfied with the tight schedules and long hours on the road.

In the peak season of March and April, mainland tourists flock to the same scenic spots and restaurants at the same time, resulting in lower service standards.

Upcoming promotions will offer mainland tourists more in-depth and diversified tours in Taiwan to spread the flow of tourists, Lai said.

Under the impact of H1N1 flu, the number of mainland tourists to Taiwan dropped from its single-month high of 100,000 in April.

Yao Ta Kuang, chairman of Travel Agent Association of Taiwan, said both sides should strengthen cooperation to hit the target of 600, 000 tourists.

An appraisal on whether mainland visitors could travel as individual tourists in Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu has been submitted to Taiwan authorities for approval, Lai said.

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