Mainland Chinese visitors jump by 40 percent in 2012
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The number of mainland Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan increased over 40 percent in 2012, the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA, 台灣海峽兩岸觀光旅遊協會) announced yesterday.
January 17, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The TSTA Beijing Office said that the number of Chinese tourists who traveled individually to Taiwan grew 529.69 percent in 2012.
According to the TSTA, mainland China is the biggest source of visitors traveling to Taiwan annually.
Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) said that in response to the fast-growing number of Chinese tourists there will be new Chinese cities included in the list of those eligible for residents to individually travel to Taiwan.
China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Yang Yi said that Taiwan is one of the top destinations for outbound Chinese tourists.
According to the TSTA Beijing Office, the number of mainland Chinese tourists who visited Taiwan in 2011 was 1.78 million. In 2012 the figure was 2.58 million, an increase of over 40 percent.
The number of overseas Chinese visitors traveling individually to Taiwan in 2011 was 30,281 while the number in 2012 increased dramatically to 190,676, the TSTA Beijing office said.
According to statistics from the Tourism Bureau, the total number of overseas Chinese tourists increased 57.45 percent in 2012 compared to the number from 2011.
Chang said that tourism associations from China and Taiwan have discussed how to solve issues triggered by the quickly growing number of overseas Chinese tourists to Taiwan.
The current conclusion so far, Chang said, was to include more Chinese cities in the list of free individual travel to Taiwan. Further details are still under discussion, he said.
According to the Tourism Bureau, there are currently 13 Chinese cities included for free individual travel to Taiwan such as Tianjin, Fuzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.