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Golden Week results in record mainland tourists

TAIPEI -- A record 33,748 Chinese group tourists spent their Golden Week holiday from Sept. 30-Oct. 7 in Taiwan, thanks to burgeoning travel exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and recent territorial disputes between China and Japan, travel insiders said yesterday.

The figure, which represents a rise of over 75 percent from the 19,223 Chinese tourists who visited Taiwan during the same holiday period last year, is the result of more convenient air services and travel document processing amid the warming cross-strait ties, according to a Tourism Bureau official.

“The surge reflects a continuous growth in Taiwan-China travel,” said Chen Chiung-hua, deputy chief of the bureau's hotel, travel and training division.

If the trend continues, Chen said, there could be over 2 million Chinese tourist arrivals this year, compared with 1.78 million in 2011.

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