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Price tag to be high for potential Taiwan travel
Updated: 2005-05-09 18:34

A ten-day tour in Taiwan may cost Chinese mainland residents 10,000 yuan (1,215 US dollars) after the mainland removes a ban for its residents to travel to the island, an expert predicted.

Zhou Xiaoping, researcher with Jiangsu Provincial Tourist Bureau, said that the cost will remain high after the tour of Taiwan is officially launched.

The estimation, which is currently almost as high as that of a European tour, is expected to drop gradually. Prices would fall after the opening of the direct flights across the Taiwan Straits, specialists said.

Mainland residents have shown great interest in the trip after it announced early this month that citizens of Chinese mainland will soon be allowed to travel to Taiwan, said Zhou.

Mainland residents have been restricted from traveling to the island during the past two decades.

The first group of Chinese mainland tourists made a trip from east China's coastal Fujian Province to Jinmen Islands (also known as Quemoy islands) off Taiwan in December under a deal designed to promote tourism and people-to-people exchanges across the Taiwan Straits.

Statistics provided by the Chinese mainland show that Taiwan compatriots made nearly 3.7 million trips to the mainland in 2004, up 34.9 percent over the previous year, while only 145,000 mainland people visited Taiwan in the same period.

Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, has said that tourism administration and all relevant parties on the mainland welcome organizations from Taiwan's tourism industry to start early consultations.

Experts pointed out that before the opening of the trip for Chinese mainland residents, there is still a long way to go for both sides to negotiate a deal.

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