More China cities added to individual traveler scheme

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff –More Chinese travelers will come to Taiwan soon, after Taipei and Beijing hammered out a deal to allow mainland residents from 10 more Chinese cities to conduct individual tours ton the island beginning April 28. The number of individual Chinese tourists permitted to enter Taiwan will be doubled to 1,000 from 500 per day, said the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s top agency on China policy. The individual traveler program, which is currently restricted to residents of the three cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, will be opened to those of Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Chengdu. Travelers from Jinan, Xian, Fuzhou, and Shenzhen will also be allowed to visit without having to be part of a tour group sometime this year, the council said. The agreement was reached after several meetings between the Taipei-based Taiwan Strait Tourism Association and China’s Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits, the council said. Taiwan first opened its doors to individual Chinese travelers on a trial basis June 28, 2011 to great expectations within the local tourism industry. But the results have fallen short of expectations so far.

A total of just over 56,000 Chinese had traveled to Taiwan with free and individual itineraries under the program as of March 26, 2012, representing only about 40 percent of the available quota.