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PRC tourists during holidays spend NT$3.5 bil. in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Immigration Agency (NIA, 移民署) announced that visiting tourists from China were tallied at around 80,000, generating estimated revenues of NT$3.5 billion in dining, accommodations and shopping over the six-day Chinese New Year holidays.

According to the NIA, visitors from China saw a 20-percent year-on-year growth this year, in the categories of both organized tours, as well as individual tourists and backpackers who booked their own itineraries.

The NIA stated that in the five-day during period between Jan. 30 and Feb. 3, mainland visitors on organized tours numbered 36,600, averaging 7,327 per day. Most notably, individual tourists and backpackers from the mainland recorded a daily average of 6,907 during the holidays, marking a tremendous 4.7-fold growth from last year's 1,200 daily average. In addition, a record high 9,537 PRC nationals made landfall in Taiwan on Jan. 31.

According to the NIA, the rising popularity of self-planned itineraries to Taiwan observed among PRC nationals in recent years represents a transition toward the higher standards in tourism, a welcomed change from the emphasis on lower prices of the past, paving the way for more potential revenues.

China Travel Service, Taiwan (CTST, 台灣中國旅行社) stated that since Jan. 24-25, the number of visitors from China began expanding markedly, with the 15-day high season persisting until the end of the Chinese New Year holiday early this month.

The Tourism Bureau attributed the stellar tourism revenues recorded over the holidays to a change that took place last year in two phases, which raised the quota for backpackers and individuals with self-planned itineraries to 3,000 persons for 13 major cities in China. Promotional campaigns advertising Taiwan's cultural attractions, cosmetic medicine industries and business opportunities have also spurred the growth in tourism revenues originating from the China market, said the Tourism Bureau.

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