Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Chinese National Tourism Administration director Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉) yesterday pledged to work together to promote cross-strait tourism and bring more Chinese tourists to Taipei, with Chinese tourists now making up the largest group of tourists visiting Taipei.
Shao, who led a Chinese delegation to a round-table meeting with travel industry representatives from both side of the Strait, invited Taipei to join other world cities in China to promote tourism.
“The number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan has reached 990,000 this year, and over 90 percent of Chinese tourists come to Taipei City. We have high expectations for the continuous growth of cross-strait tourism,” Shao said during a visit to Taipei’s Songshan Cultural Park.
In China, Beijing is working to form a tourism association with the world’s major cities to promote city-to-city tourism. China is inviting major cities from around the world to join the association and as a tourist destination, Taipei should participate in the group and get the opportunity to meet representatives of other major cities to discuss tourism, Shao said.
Hau lauded cross-strait tourism as an effective way to promote exchanges between Taiwan and China and deepen mutual relations, and promised to create a friendlier environment for tourism in Taipei.
“People across the Taiwan Strait are of the same blood. Through cross-strait tourism, we should develop a better understanding of each other. This is a great way to promote cross-strait relations,” he said.
The city government is focusing its efforts on promoting Chinese tourism because the number of Chinese cities that allow individual visits to Taiwan will increase from nine to 13 by the end of this year.