Mainland tourists to Taiwan expected to hit 1.2m in 2010

Updated: 2010-11-24 21:43
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BEIJING - Some 1.2 million mainlanders will visit Taiwan in 2010, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council forecast Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Fan Liqing said the mainland-based Cross-Straits Tourism Exchange Association and the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA) will meet in the near future to discuss issues concerning mainland tourists' individual visits to the island.

"Both sides are researching the possibility of travel to the island by mainland individuals," Fan said at a news conference.

Figures from the TSTA show 979,000 mainland tourists had visited Taiwan as of Nov 4.

Concerning the Typhoon Megi-triggered landslides in the island, Fan said the mainland and Taiwan spared no efforts in saving mainland tourists and managing the aftermath. The disaster on October 21 left 20 mainland tourists dead on Taiwan's eastern coastal Suao-Hualien Highway.

According to Fan, so far no data show that the tragedy has seriously effected tourism in the island.

Fan expressed hope mainland-to-Taiwan tourism develops in a healthy and orderly manner, with related industries providing improved services for mainland tourists.

In July 2008, Taiwan began to allow mainland tourists to visit the island on package tours for stays of up to 15 days.

Direct cross-Straits flights have made mainlanders' visits to the island easier.