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2009 a boom year for tourism in Taiwan

2010-01-03 11:56 BJT


Taiwan has become an increasingly popular travel destination for Mainland tourists. In 2009, more than half a million Mainland residents visited the island, despite the impact of the H1N1 flu and the global economic downturn.

The Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits announced on Saturday, that more than 600 thousand tourists from the Chinese mainland visited Taiwan last year. Each mainland tourist spent an average of 1,800 US dollars during their trip, injecting more than 1.1 billion dollars into the island's local economy.

After a string of rules were relaxed in 2009, tourists from the Mainland started visiting Taiwan in greater numbers. New measures included expanding the number of the mainland provinces eligible to send tourists to 25, up from the 13 when the island officially opened to mainland residents in July 2008. The relaxed rules have also lowered group requirement numbers to 5 tourists from the previous 10. In addition, Mainland visitors can also stay for a maximum of 15 days, up from the initial 10.

Many mainland residents are preferring to travel to Taiwan during the Spring Festival holiday.

Zhang Wei, China International Travel Service, said, "Mainland tourists' enthusiasm is increasing, as the residents in Taiwan also celebrate the Spring Festival. Air fares and hotel prices will rise during the holiday season. I suggest tourists to plan in advance, because the earlier they sign up for the tour, the bigger discount they will get."

Data from Taiwan's civil aviation authority shows that routes linking with the Chinese mainland were the only profitable flights last year. The average seat occupancy rate has been above 80 percent since cross-strait charter flights opened.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: