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Individual travelers from more Chinese cities OK'd

TAIPEI -- Taiwan opened its doors yesterday to independent travelers from 10 more Chinese cities, bringing the total number of cities in the Free Independent Traveler program to 36, Chinese and Taiwanese tourism officials announced.

The independent travel program was extended to Taiyuan in Shanxi Province; Yantai in Shandong; Zhangzhou in Fujian; Guiyang in Guizhou; Wenzhou in Zhejiang; Wuxi in Jiangsu; Harbin in Heilongjiang; Nanchang in Jiangxi; Dalian in Liaoning; and Zhongshan in Guangdong.

Residents of those cities will now be able to visit Taiwan without needing to join tour groups.

The Free Independent Traveler program started in June 2011, allowing people from Shanghai, Beijing and Xiamen to visit Taiwan on their own.

In 2013, Some 2.8 million Chinese visitors came to Taiwan, 522,000 of whom were traveling independently, according to government statistics.

As of the end of June, independent visitor arrivals this year from China had reached 504,000, statistics showed.

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