The number of Chinese visitors to Taiwan dropped 15 percent in the past two months, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said.
MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) on Thursday said the number of Chinese traveling to Taiwan in tour groups dropped by about 30 percent in the two-month period, while independent Chinese travelers grew by 10 percent in that period.
Signs have indicated a gradual decline in the number of applications by Chinese for travel permits to Taiwan, Chiu said.
The drop might affect the number of Chinese travelers in the remainder of the year, he added.
Last year, more than 4 million Chinese visited Taiwan, a number that was almost evenly split between independent and group travelers, Tourism Bureau data showed.
Government statistics showed that 327,254 Chinese traveled to Taiwan in May, down by 45,512, or 12.21 percent, from the same month last year.
No data have yet been published on the number of Chinese travelers to Taiwan last month.
There has been speculation since earlier this year that the number of Chinese traveling to Taiwan would drop, as part of Beijing’s efforts to put pressure on the government of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party.
However, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) has rejected such speculation, saying that the changes in the number of Chinese tour groups traveling to Taiwan reflects market demand.
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