Chinese tourist count to rise in mid-May after quota doubles

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–The number of individual Chinese tourists coming to Taiwan is expected to start increasing in mid-May after the daily visitor quota is scheduled be doubled to 1,000 from 500 beginning from April 28.

Executives at travel agencies said there will be a time lag for processing travel documents to be filed by mainland Chinese in spite of the effective relaxation date later this week. Under the latest arrangement reached by authorities in Taipei and Beijing, residents of Chinese cities Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Chengdu will be qualified for individual travels to Taiwan. The program is presently restricted only to residents with household registrations in the three Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen. Travel industry executives generally hold high hopes for more visitors coming to Taiwan because there are many mainland residents interested in personally experiencing the unique social and cultural developments in Taiwan. Other major purposes for the individual trips of the mainland Chinese include visiting friends and relatives living in Taiwan as well as receiving health checks or cosmetic surgery at medical institutions on the island. Many mainland residents also expressed strong interest in meeting their favorite singers and other entertainers in Taiwan. Officials at the National Immigration Agency said they have completed full preparations to begin screening applications for entry on Friday from Chinese residents in the six mainland cities. Residents in four more mainland cities — Jinan of Shandong province, Xian of Shaanxi province, Fuzhou of Fujian province, and Shenzhen of Guangdong province — will be able to visit Taiwan for individual tours before the end of the year. More than 67,000 mainland Chinese have chosen to conduct individual travels in Taiwan instead of joining tour groups since the measure was launched in June last year.