Taiwan will open its doors to independent Chinese travelers from 10 more Chinese cities and will increase the number of such tourists allowed to enter Taiwan from 500 to 1,000 per day, Taiwan’s top agency on China policy said yesterday.
The Free Independent Traveler (FIT) program, which is currently restricted to residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, will be opened to people from Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu beginning on April 28, the Mainland Affairs Council said.
Travelers from Jinan, Xian, Fuzhou and Shenzhen will also be allowed to visit Taiwan without having to be part of a tour group sometime this year, the council said.
The agreement was reached after several meetings between the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association and China’s Association For Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits, the council said. Taiwan first opened its doors to independent Chinese travelers on June 28 last year to great expectations within the local tourism industry, but the results have been disappointing.
A total of a little more than 56,000 Chinese had traveled to Taiwan under the program as of last Monday, or only about 40 percent of the quota.
The program is being expanded as the segment is seen as having potential and there have been no major violations or serious overstays since the program began, the Tourism Bureau said.
The council expected the expansion to be conducive to the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations and to improve interactions between people from the two sides.