Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport welcomed its 30 millionth visitor yesterday morning, the first time the airport reached the annual milestone since its establishment in 1979.
The lucky visitor was identified as 32-year-old Chiang Kuang-an (蔣光安), who entered the airport at 9:50am via a flight on Hong Kong Dragon Airlines. According to the airport, Chiang was born in Taiwan and grew up in the US and is working in an investment bank in Hong Kong. She returned to Taiwan for a brief Christmas holiday.
Chiang said she was surprised to be the airport’s 30 millionth visitor. She was given round-trip business-class flight tickets to Hong Kong, a luxury watch, a travel kit and several Taiwanese snacks.
Visitors arriving before and after Chiang: a 13-year-old student surnamed Lee (李), who was headed to Shimenting (西門町) and an engineer from Hong Kong surnamed Chen (陳) also received gifts.
The airport company added that a car rental firm provided three limousines to carry the visitors to their intended destinations.
In other developments, the National Immigration Agency said that the number of Chinese tourists arriving through the free independent travelers (FIT) program has topped 750,000 since it was launched in 2011, adding 500,000 Chinese FITs arrived between Jan. 1 and Sunday last week.
The agency attributed the rise in Chinese travelers to an increase in the daily quota for FITs, as well as a greater number of Chinese cities participating in the FIT program.
The agency said that it has also streamlined the procedures for Chinese tourists to apply for entry permits, which can now be obtained within two working days.
According to the agency, 1600 Chinese FITs have obtained one-year multiple entry permits traveling to Taiwan more than twice a year.