Kinmen’s annual travel volume expected to reach record high

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) Travel volume between Taiwan’s offshore Kinmen County and China via the three mini-links in the first eleven months of 2018 grew by 8.6 percent year-on-year and the total volume for the whole year is expected to reach a record high, according to the Kinmen County government.

The county government, citing statistics from the National Immigration Agency (NIA), said Thursday that the number of passengers traveling from China’s Fujian Province to Kinmen and vice versa between January and November was 1,730,238, up from 1,593,716 recorded in the same period of 2017.

However, the number during November sank from 168,040 to 159,752 this year, in which the number of Taiwanese travelers totaled 86,055, Chinese travelers numbered 69,038, and other foreign travelers totaled 4,659.

Chen Mei-ling (陳美齡), director of the Kinmen County government Tourism Bureau, explained that the Nov. 24 local elections caused the decrease, although November is usually a peak-season for three-mini-links travel.

Chen said that the largest annual travel volume was 1,762,411, recorded in 2015, while the figure for 2018 is likely to break the record.

The tourism bureau said that Kinmen has been promoting its tourism in recent years, with activities such as the 2018 Quemoy music festival and the 60th anniversary of the August 23rd Artillery Battle that welcomed veterans returning to the island.

The three mini-links — direct trade, postal and transport links — were launched Jan. 1, 2001 between Kinmen and Fujian Province in China and were later expanded to include the Matsu Islands.