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Mainland visitors may top 2 million this year: official

TAIPEI--The number of mainland Chinese arrivals in Taiwan is expected to exceed 2 million in 2012, a Taiwanese tourism official was quoted by the China News Service as saying in the Chinese city of Tianjin on Friday.

A total of 1.22 million tourists from China — excluding the regions of Hong Kong and Macau — arrived in Taiwan in 2011, with 38,000 being individual tourists, according to Yang Jui-tsung, director of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association's Beijing office.

The total number of all arrivals from mainland China for last year was recorded at 1.77 million, Yang added.

Between January and September this year, 1.31 million tourists from mainland China visited Taiwan and 108,000 were individual tourists, Yang said.

The purpose of cross-Taiwan Strait tourism is to improve understanding and enhance friendly exchanges between people from both sides, Yang said.

“There are other attractions besides Sun Moon Lake and Alishan. The beautiful scenery in other parts of the country and Taiwanese people's friendliness are also worth exploring,” he recommended.

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