Kinmen to boost tourism amid ban

Staff writer, with CNA

Sun, Aug 18, 2019 - Page 3

After Beijing’s Aug. 1 ban on Chinese traveling solo to Taiwan, Kinmen County is seeking ways to keep tourist numbers up.

About 1,600 tourists from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia took part in a “field study” tour of Kinmen led by the county and Xiamen, China, on Wednesday and Thursday, the Kinmen County Tourism Department said.

The tour, part of a series of activities on Kinmen and Xiamen sponsored by tour groups, started at Kinmen’s main port, close to the village of Shuitou (水頭), and visited such sites as the Chengkung Tunnel, the Kinmen Livestock Research Institute and Chungshan Memorial Forest, the department said.

The two-day event gave visitors first-hand exposure to Kinmen’s history through military relics, farming and forestry, it said, adding that the tour drew visitors to Kinmen after Beijing banned individual tourists in 47 Chinese cities from traveling to Taiwan.

The event also served as an example of what measures Kinmen can take to boost its tourism industry, which relies heavily on cross-strait tourist exchanges.

In response to the ban, the county government plans to implement new incentives to attract tourists from Northeast and Southeast Asia, while upgrading the county’s tourist infrastructure and atmosphere.

Kinmen aims to serve as a base for similar field study tours and educational or training activities to attract more overseas visitors, department director Ting Chien-kang (丁健剛) said.

Ferry arrivals and departures between Kinmen and Xiamen last month reached 205,085, with 103,957 people entering Kinmen on landing visas — both historic highs, department data showed.