Sat, Dec 15, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Chinese tourism sees no change after polls: MAC

ROOM FOR GROWTH:A Mainland Affairs Council official said there had not been any changes in the government’s cross-strait or tourism policies since the Nov. 24 elections

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

There has not been a significant increase in the number of tourists from China since the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Thursday.

An average of 1,855 people on group tours and 2,440 independent visitors arrived from China daily from Nov. 26 to Monday, MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) told a news conference in Taipei, citing data from the National Immigration Agency.

From January to last month, the daily average was 2,090 for group tourists and 2,038 for independent visitors, Chiu said.

The government allows a maximum of 5,000 people on group tours and 6,000 independent visitors from China per day, he said.

There is still a lot of room for growth, he added.

The government’s promotion of cross-strait tourism and policy to welcome Chinese tourists has not changed after last month’s elections, as the policy facilitates communication and understanding between Taiwanese and Chinese, and has a positive influence on the stable development of cross-strait relations, Chiu said.

During a trip to Beijing this week, Penghu County commissioner-elect Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉) called for direct flights and sea links between the outlying islands and Chinese coastal regions, such as Xiamen and Dongshan County in China’s Fujian Province.

He also proposed chartered flights between Penghu and more distant Chinese cities — such as Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao, Changsha and Kunming — to help drive cross-strait economic growth.

The government cares about the development of the nation’s outlying islands, Chiu said when asked to respond to Lai’s remarks.

There are already direct services linking Penghu Airport and Magong Harbor to China, Chiu said.

If there is additional demand for passenger and cargo transportation between Penghu and China, it could be dealt with according to the regulations, he said, adding that the central government would provide assistance.

The government has always supported cross-strait, city-to-city interactions that abide by regulations, are based on mutual respect and for which no preconditions have been set, he said, adding that such links should not depend on whether the local government head is from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) or the Democratic Progressive Party.

Only interactions of this nature can help develop positive cross-strait ties, he said.

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