A major decision may be made on a proposal to allow Chinese tourists to travel to Taiwan independently when representatives from Taiwan and China meet next month to discuss the issue, Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau said yesterday.
The bureau made the comment after Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉), director of China’s National Tourism Administration, announced in Taipei last week that citizens from pilot Chinese cities would be allowed to travel to Taiwan independently from the second quarter of this year.
“Shao’s visit has greatly enhanced mutual understanding between Taiwan and China on an unofficial basis,” Chief Secretary of Tourism Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) said.
Shao arrived in Taiwan on Feb. 22 as the head of a Chinese delegation for a one-week visit to promote broader cross-strait tourism links.
Chang declined to discuss a timetable for negotiations on Taiwan’s broadening of its tourism policy, saying only that it was likely to be based on the consensus reached during the sixth round of talks between Taiwan and China last December.
At present, Chinese tourists are only permitted to enter Taiwan as members of tour groups, with a limit of 4,000 tourists per day.
According to earlier reports, Taiwan may set a ceiling of 500 independent Chinese tourists per day when the proposal takes effect.