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People's Daily Online>>China Business

3 million mainland tourists visit Taiwan in groups

By Zhou Zhaojun (Chinanews.com)

08:13, December 30, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Some 3 million tourists from the mainland had visited Taiwan in groups as of November 2011 since they were allowed to do so in July 2008, Shao Qiwei, director of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), said on Dec. 28.

A pilot travel program was launched in June this year to allow mainland residents to visit Taiwan as individual tourists, opening a new phase in cross-straight people-to-people exchanges.

In a report on the country’s tourism development presented to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Shao said that by the end of October 2011, the number of individual tourists from the mainland to Hong Kong and Macau reached 75 million and nearly 44.9 million respectively.

Within the framework of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau, the mainland has opened 18 tourism-related sectors in five categories to investors in Hong Kong and Macau.

Shao said that the CNTA will continue to boost tourism cooperation with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, and promote the development of the tourism industry on the mainland and the three regions.

Tourism is estimated to contribute more than 4 percent to China’s gross domestic product. The development of the tourism industry has not only boosted private investment, but also promoted the development of more than 110 tourism-related industries.

Shao said that China had fully honored its WTO commitments in tourism by the end of 2007. At present, Chinese tourists are allowed to visit 140, or actually 111, foreign countries and regions.

During the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), the Chinese government signed three tourism cooperation agreements with foreign governments, inked 53 cooperation agreements or memorandums of understanding with the tourism departments of other countries, and built tourism cooperation mechanisms with many countries and regions such as the United States, Russia, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

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