The number of passengers traveling between Kinmen County and China via the “small three links” is expected to reach 2 million this year, up 10 percent annually, Kinmen County Commissioner Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯) has said.
The total number of people traveling via the links since their launch in 2001 reached 10 million in 2013, Kinmen County Tourism Department data showed.
The department expects the number to reach 2 million during the Dragon Boat Festival from Friday to Sunday, which would be a remarkable milestone for the county’s tourism industry, Yang said.
Yang said that he hopes the number would reach 30 million before his term ends in 2022.
He pledged to further improve the quality of tourism in the county, but said that it takes time to optimize harbor facilities and infrastructure.
Since Jan. 1, 2001, Taiwan and China have had direct trade, postal and transportation links, commonly known as the small three links, between Kinmen and Matsu, and Xiamen, Quanzhou and Fuzhou in China’s Fujian Province.
Taiwan and China established direct flights and shipping links in 2008.
In related news, in an effort to boost local tourism, the Kinmen County Government distributed gift bags to all passengers traveling on a randomly selected ferry every day from Monday to Saturday last week.
Chinese Cai Wenting (蔡雯婷) walked away with the biggest prize — 20 small three links tickets and a bottle of kaoliang liquor.
Cai, who was traveling to Kinmen for a day trip with two friends, said that the prize was completely unexpected.
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