Chinese visits top 4 million
Since the government began admitting tour groups from China in July 2008, Chinese tourists have made more than 4.28 million visits, according to a senior Mainland Affairs Council official. “Chinese tourists have contributed an estimated NT$216.7 billion [US$6.83 billion] to Taiwan’s tourism revenue,” said Lu Chang-shui (盧長水), head of the council’s Department of Information and Liaison, citing figures valid up to August. In addition, the Free Independent Travel program for Chinese, which was launched in June last year, has been growing steadily, Lu said at a community outreach event in Toucheng Township (頭城), Yilan County, on Sunday. As of the end of August, the number of independent Chinese tourist arrivals stood at 125,000, he said.
Comics artist honored
Comics artist Jiang Chen-tai has been honored by a French association of journalists while participating in a festival in the French city of Montpelier. The 50-year-old Jiang, better known by his pseudonym “Push Comic” (阿推), said at the award ceremony on Sunday that he was excited to take part in an international exhibition and saw the honor as a milestone that would give him new inspiration. The artist’s works were on display at the Festival Les Nouveaux Mangakas on Saturday and Sunday, and drew 3,000 visitors on the show’s first day. Push Comic also participated in a seminar on Taiwanese culture hosted by Grabels Mayor Rene Revol on Sunday and was joined by Representative to France, Michel Lu (呂慶龍). The artist explained the concepts behind his comics while Lu talked about Taiwan’s multicultural society and the government’s efforts at promoting cultural exchanges with other countries.