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Taiwan invites individual tourists from four more mainland cities

(Xinhua)

08:02, August 29, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chen Wenjing's ambitious plan to go backpacking in Taiwan to see the island up close and personal is about to come true.

"I've been on a group tour to Taiwan. Our schedule then was very tight, and we rushed around the island and only caught glimpses of things. This time, I will walk on every street with my backpack and taste all kinds of local cuisine," Chen, a resident of the southern city Shenzhen, said as she filled out an application form to take a trip to Taiwan as an individual tourist from the mainland.

Tuesday marked the day that residents in the four mainland cities of Jinan, Shenzhen, Fuzhou and Xi'an were officially allowed to apply to travel to Taiwan as individuals under a cross-Strait agreement, bringing the total such mainland cities to 13.

"Individual trips to Taiwan will be hot products for Shenzhou residents, as the city is very close to Hong Kong, where daily flights to Taipei and Kaohsiung abound," said Zeng Haisheng, head of the Taiwan department of Shenzhen Huaqiaocheng China Travel Service.

Zeng revealed that the company will present a series of travel products for individual tourists that will include plane tickets, hotel bookings and passes for various tourist attractions on the island.

According to Zhu Jun, a marketing manager with Shenzhen Port CTS Co., Ltd., the first batch of 120 seats for individual trips to Taiwan filled up less than two weeks after the product was launched in early August.

In addition to passes to tourist attractions, travel agencies in Fuzhou have offered "semi-individual" services that provide tour guides and transportation services in far-flung sites such as the Ali Mountain area and the Sun and Moon Lake, while tourists can tour freely in city districts.

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