Tue, Nov 05, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Chinese find Presidential Office Building a draw

Staff writer, with CNA

Chinese tourists accounted for about 40 percent of the visitors to the Presidential Office Building in the first nine months of this year, statistics show.

Of the 133,479 visitors to the Japanese colonial era building from January to September, 52,056 were Chinese nationals.

Visitors of Chinese origin comprised the largest number of overseas tourists during the January-to-September period, accounting for 77 percent of all the visitors from abroad, government data showed.

The Presidential Office Building has emerged as one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists in recent years, apart from the Sun Moon Lake, the Alishan mountainous area and the National Palace Museum.

The number of Chinese visiting the Presidential Office Building has risen steadily since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) assumed office in 2008 and Chinese tour groups were allowed to visit — from 5,965 that year to 9,547 in 2009 to 44,353 last year.

More people from China have visited the building than from any other place outside Taiwan every year since 2008.

Chinese like to buy souvenirs with the Presidential Office Building emblem on them and have photographs of themselves taken showing them with an image of Ma, according to staff.

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