Sat, May 06, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan growing in popularity as Chinese tourist destination


More than 30 percent of Chinese people who responded to a recent poll would spend around 10,000 yuan (NT$39,600) for a pleasure trip to Taiwan and an extra 3,000 yuan on shopping here, according to the results of a survey published by a Beijing-based magazine.

Around 25 percent of the respondents said that they would spend between 2,500 yuan and 3,000 yuan on souvenirs or speciality items in Taiwan.

Some 32 percent said that they would sight-see in Taiwan because of the cultural and historical links between the two sides of the Strait, while others cited the nation's natural scenery and "mysterious appeal" as the major attractions.

Thirty-three percent said that they would be worried about receiving unfriendly treatment in Taiwan, while 24 percent said being able to freely tour the country would be their major concerns, while 23 percent said personal safety would be their biggest worry.

According to sources close to the Chinese tourism industry, a Chinese tourist would have to pay nearly 10,000 yuan in tour fees and 50,000 yuan as a deposit for a group tour to Taiwan -- a level similar to the spending required for a trip to Europe.

Although the Taiwan Affairs Office under the Beijing-based State Council announced last month a set of regulations regarding travel in Taiwan, China has yet to negotiate follow-up technical matters with the government.

At present, only Chinese people living abroad or those entering Taiwan from a third country are allowed to sight-see here.

With increasing numbers of Chinese people sight-seeing in Taiwan, group tours that include spots such as Taipei, Kaohsiung, Alishan and Sun Moon Lake are currently favored, the sources said. They added that they expected tours featuring hot springs, mountain resorts and folk villages to prove increasingly popular.

Nationwide tours were the most popular among the first few groups of Chinese visitors.

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