Taipei City starts to woo individual Chinese tourists

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Thu, May 12, 2011 - Page 2

With a ban on individual Chinese tourists soon to be lifted, the Taipei City Government yesterday issued travel brochures to attract that growing segment of the industry.

The brochures, offered in traditional and simplified Chinese, include introductions to the city’s major attractions, maps and coupons for 32 stores and restaurants. They can be obtained free of charge with the purchase of a “Taipei Pass,” an EasyCard that offers unlimited access to MRT and bus rides.

The Taipei Pass, which comes in durations of one day, two days, three days and five days for prices ranging from NT$180 to NT$700, is available at every MRT station.

Commissioner of the city’s Department of Information and Tourism Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏) said Taipei was the first stop for most foreign visitors to Taiwan and that the information offered by the city government should boost the city’s tourism sector.

“Taipei is a city with a great MRT system, popular attractions and comprehensive travel information. We are confident that individual Chinese tourists will choose Taipei as their first destination in Taiwan,” she said.

The Tourism Bureau and China’s Tourism Administration are expected to finish discussing the details of individual Chinese tourism in Taiwan next month, with the ban expected to be lifted next month or in July.

At present, Chinese tourists are allowed in Taiwan only as part of tour groups.

Last year, a maximum of 3,000 Chinese tourists were allowed to visit Taiwan daily, a quota that was increased to 4,000 this year.

Chao will lead department officials tomorrow to attend a travel expo in Shanghai to promote city tourism in China.

English brochures will also be available from next month.