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Mainland tourists spend 15.68 bln USD in Taiwan


09:41, July 20, 2013

TAIPEI, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Tourists from the Chinese mainland have spent 15.68 billion U.S. dollars in Taiwan since 2008 when the island opened up its tourism market to mainland travelers.

Over the past five years, people from Taiwan spent about 27.7 billion U.S. dollars on the mainland, according to figures released by tourism authorities from both sides.

At a cross-Strait tourism exchange conference held in Taipei on Friday, Shao Qiwei, head of the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Strait, called on both sides across the Taiwan Strait to further consolidate and deepen tourism exchanges and cooperation.

The Chinese mainland is currently the largest source of tourists to Taiwan, while the island is the third largest source of visitors to the mainland.

During the past five years, about 6.2 million mainland tourists have visited Taiwan. Mainlanders' daily spending increased from 93.75 U.S. dollars per person in 2008, to 163.91 U.S. dollars in 2011.

At the conference, Shao proposed both sides across the Strait to advance cooperation on tourism investment and insurance, and improve the quality of tourist services.

An overall ban on traveling to the island was lifted by Taiwanese authorities in July 2008. However, mainlanders at that time could only travel there as part of tightly run tour groups, business trips, academic visits and trips related to family affairs.

Taiwan first opened the door to individual tourists from mainland cities on June 28, 2011, but only to residents of three major cities -- Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen.

The list of cities increased to 13 on April 1, 2012. In June, residents in 13 more mainland cities were eligible to visit Taiwan as individual tourists.

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