Kinmen travel volume to hit record high, despite lull

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Dec 07, 2018 - Page 12

Travel volume between Kinmen County and China via the “small three links” in the first 11 months of the year grew 8.6 percent year-on-year, while total volume for the year is expected to reach a record high, the Kinmen County Government said yesterday.

The number of passengers traveling from China to Kinmen and vice versa between January and last month was 1,730,238, up from 1,593,716 in the same period last year, the county said, citing National Immigration Agency statistics.

However, the number last month sank to 159,752 from 168,040 last year, it said, adding that there were 86,055 Taiwanese travelers, 69,038 Chinese travelers and 4,659 from other nations.

The decrease was due to the Nov. 24 elections, whereas November is usually a peak season for “small three links” travel, Kinmen County Tourism Bureau Director-General Chen Mei-ling (陳美齡) said.

The largest annual travel volume was 1,762,411 in 2015, Chen said.

The county has been promoting tourism with activities such as the Quemoy International Music Festival and the 60th anniversary of the Aug. 23 Artillery Battle, as part of which it welcomed returning veterans, the bureau said.

The “small three links” — direct trade, postal and transport links between Kinmen and Chinese-controlled Fujian Province — were launched on Jan. 1, 2001 and were later expanded to include Matsu.