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Quota for mainland tourists to be raised by 33%: government

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Tourism Bureau yesterday said that the number of tourists from mainland China allowed to enter Taiwan daily is scheduled to be increased by 1,000 on May 1.

According to the Tourism Bureau, the government is setting a goal of welcoming nine million tourists to Taiwan this year, and the bureau proposed to increase the number of mainland Chinese tourists from 3,000 to 4,000 daily.

The Tourism Bureau said that it has different strategies for different tourist markets. For example, the bureau hopes to have a stable growth in the number of tourists visiting Taiwan from Japan, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.

For certain tourist markets, like mainland China, South Korea, passengers arriving via ferries and Southeast Asia countries, the Tourism Bureau said it will push for a higher amount of growth in the number of tourists visiting Taiwan.

Tourism Bureau Director David W.J. Hsieh (謝謂君) said that the bureau set a goal to have 3.35 million mainland Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan this year, which would be a 17-percent growth compared to last year if the goal is reached.

Hsieh said that the bureau hopes the number of Chinese cities that have individual tourist eligibility will be discussed after this Tomb Sweeping Day.

As for the number of mainland Chinese tourists allowed to enter Taiwan in groups, according to Hsieh, it will be adjusted based on whether or not it is a peak season for traveling.

"During peak travel season, the number of mainland Chinese tourists allowed to enter Taiwan in groups will be increased to 8,000 daily for this year," said Hsieh. "However, the number will be changed to 5,000 daily regardless of the travel season next year."

Hsieh said that Southeast Asia is the main target for the bureau, with the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and mainland China in the top three in terms of the greatest growth in the number of tourists visiting Taiwan this year.

According to the Tourism Bureau, it will consider lowering the visa threshold for tourists from Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and India by next month if travel agencies can sponsor the move.

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