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Jinmen trip costs less on New Year's Day
By Li Dapeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-26 05:34

Residents of East China's Fujian Province will be allowed to take a one-day trip to Jinmen Island of Taiwan Province on New Year's Day for only 498 yuan (US$61).

The new one-day route, initiated by Xiamen Municipal Tourism Bureau, will discount the current Jinmen package, which consists of three days and two nights at a cost ranging from 1,380 yuan (US$170) to 1,580 yuan (US$195).

Seven travel agencies in Xiamen have started to take tourists' registrations for the trip from Thursday.

The quoted 498 yuan (US$61) price includes the fee for handling permits to enter Taiwan and Jinmen, ferry tickets and other charges for tourist resorts, according to Xiamen Construction and Development International Travel Agency.

Tourists will take the direct sea voyage between Xiamen and Jinmen by chartered boat and will visit four or five places of interest. Because of the slowness on the Taiwan side in examining and approving the permits, tourists are advised to register with the travel agency by December 7.

Whether the one-day Jinmen trip will become a regular route after the trial route on the New Year's Day depends on its popularity, said a Xiamen Municipal Tourism Bureau official who identified himself only as Wu, his surname.

"The main purpose we created the package is to try to enrich the current single trip to Jinmen and enlarge the tourism market across the Taiwan Straits," Wu said.

Wu said because of the current comparatively high price of travelling to Jinmen, the route has stagnated since it was launched last December.

The Jinmen tourism department had planned for the island to handle 600 tourists every day. However, in the past year, 2,600 Fujian tourists had travelled there, far fewer than either side had expected, Wu said.

"I think the price is acceptable for the one-day Jinmen trip," said Luo Qingsheng, an office worker in Xiamen.

"But, as a person living in a coastal city, the seaside landscapes on Jinmen are just not very attractive to me."

(China Daily 11/26/2005 page2)

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