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3 mln mainland tourist arrivals to Taiwan since ban was lifted in 2008: report

(Xinhua)

09:56, December 29, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- The total number of mainland tourist arrivals to Taiwan in groups had reached around 3 million as of the end of November since a ban on tours from the mainland to Taiwan was lifted in July 2008, according to a report submitted to China's legislature on Wednesday.

Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration, revealed the figures in his report delivered to a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which runs from Monday to Saturday.

Starting from June this year, individual mainland tourists were allowed to travel to Taiwan, ushering in a new phase of personnel exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, Shao said.

Yang Yi, spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a press conference earlier this month that mainland tourist arrivals to Taiwan totalled 1.12 million in the first 11 months this year, of which 22,000 were individual visitors.

Furthermore, Shao noted in his report on Wednesday that the number of individual mainland tourist arrivals to Hong Kong and Macao had seen a sharp increase since 2003, when the State Council began allowing individual mainlanders to visit the two regions.

Individual mainland visitor arrivals to Hong Kong and Macao since 2003 had totaled 75 million and 44.86 million as of October this year, accounting for some 52.45 percent and 44.15 percent of the total mainland tourist arrivals to each region during the same period, respectively, Shao said.

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