Tue, Dec 02, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Chinese tourist arrivals well below target figure

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The number of Chinese tourist arrivals is not expected to break the 100,000 mark this year, given the relatively low figure recorded in the first 11 months of the year, immigration officials said on Sunday.

In 2006, when Chinese citizens were allowed to make sightseeing trips to Taiwan via a third place, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals set a record of more than 100,000, government statistics showed.

Following a thaw in bilateral ties after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration took over in May, the two sides signed a deal on the full opening of Taiwan to Chinese tourists and on the launch of direct cross-strait charter flights to facilitate civilian exchanges.

However, the number of tourist arrivals has not shown a significant increase.

Even in October, when Chinese enjoyed a weeklong holiday, the number of Chinese visitors only totaled 11,797, far below the projected target.

Data compiled by the National Immigration Agency showed that about 68,000 Chinese visited Taiwan in the first 10 months of this year. With the daily number of Chinese tourist arrivals estimated at 400 last month, the total number for the first 11 months would be about 80,000, falling far short of the target, immigration officials said.

Amid the lingering global financial turmoil and economic recession, the officials said that the number of Chinese arrivals was not expected to increase substantially this month.

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