China expands permission to individual travel to Taiwan
CNATAIPEI -- Residents from an additional seven cities in China are now allowed to make independent trips Taiwan, bringing the total number of cities to 26, the state-owned China News Service reported yesterday.
August 29, 2013, 12:22 am TWN
The independent travel program has been extended to Shijiazhuang, Hefei, Quanzhou, Changchun, Changsha, Nanning and Kunming, which means residents of those cities can visit Taiwan without joining a tour group, according to the report.
The decision, which was announced on June 16 by the Taiwanese and Chinese governments, took effect Wednesday.
The Free Independent Traveler program started in June 2011, allowing people from Shanghai, Beijing and Xiamen to visit Taiwan as independent travelers, and has since been expanded to include 26 cities.
In 2012, China recorded some 2.63 million visits to Taiwan, 190,000 of which were made by independent travelers, according to the China News Service report.
As of Aug. 15 this year, independent visits from China to Taiwan had reached some 270,000, surpassing the full-year figure for 2012, the report said.