Fri, Dec 20, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Kinmen readies to handle increased holiday travel

CNA , TAIPEI

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has plans to further bolster Kinmen Island's seaport facilities in view of expectations that more China-based Taiwan businesspeople will return home during the Lunar New Year holidays via the outlying island.

On Jan. 2 of this year, Taiwan initiated direct trade, postal and transportation links between its outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu and the Chinese port cities of Xiamen and Fuzhou.

The ministry expects that increasing numbers of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople will travel back to Taiwan from Fujian Province via the Kinmen route following the ministry's relaxation of related restrictions.

Based on this expectation, the ministry has plans to expand the operational capacity of Kinmen's Shuitou Port to enable it to accommodate 10,000 passengers at one time.

Although only about 300 Taiwanese businesspeople returned to Taiwan for the Lunar New Year's holidays and family reunions via the Kinmen route earlier this year, the ministry predicts that the number will increase to between 15,000 and 33,000 over the period leading up to the coming holiday season.

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