Kinmen seeking to draw tourists amid Chinese travel ban

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According to the county's Tourism Department, around 1,600 tourists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia took part in a Kinmen-Xiamen (in China's Fujian Province) field study tour on the island county Wednesday through Thursday. (NOWnews)
According to the county's Tourism Department, around 1,600 tourists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia took part in a Kinmen-Xiamen (in China's Fujian Province) field study tour on the island county Wednesday through Thursday. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Following a recent ban by China on independent travel to Taiwan by its citizens, outlying Kinmen County is seeking to lure more tourists through different avenues.

According to the county’s Tourism Department, around 1,600 tourists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia took part in a Kinmen-Xiamen (in China’s Fujian Province) field study tour on the island county Wednesday through Thursday.

The tour, part of a series of activities sponsored by tour groups on Kinmen and Xiamen, kicked off at the Shuitou Port and covered many interesting spots that included the Chengkung Tunnel, the Kinmen Livestock Research Institute and the Chungshan Memorial Forest, the department said.

During the two-day event, the visitors gained first-hand experience of Kinmen’s history related to its military relics, farming and forestry industries, it said.

The department said the event was successful in drawing tourists to Kinmen following China’s ban on independent tourists from 47 Chinese cities to Taiwan since Aug. 1, and serves as an example of measures Kinmen can take to boost its tourism, which relies heavily on cross-Taiwan Strait tourist exchanges.

In response to China’s unilateral policy change, the county government will adopt new incentives to attract tourists from Northeast and Southeast Asia, while upgrading Kinmen’s tourist infrastructure and environment.

In the future, Kinmen can serve as a base for similar field study tours or educational training activities to attract more foreign visitors, said Ting Chien-kang (丁健剛), the department director.

According to department data, arrivals and departures via the ferry service between Kinmen and Xiamen totaled 205,085 in July, with 103,957 people entering Kinmen on landing visas — both historic highs.

By Flor Wang and Huang Hui-min