The number of Chinese mainland tourists traveling to Taiwan is expected to hit 1 million by 2010 after the January-to-May figure shot up 90 percent compared with the same period last year, a mainland official said Sunday.
Wang Yi, head of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, said about 666,000 mainlanders traveled to Taiwan in the first five months of 2010 while 1.96 million Taiwanese residents visited the Chinese mainland.
Taiwanese authorities lifted a partial ban on mainland tourists visiting Taiwan in July 2008.
Mainland visitors to Taiwan totaled 930,000 in 2009 and numbers have grown robustly this year, Wang said at a conference at the weeklong second Straits Forum in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen.
Mainland tourists have become increasingly interested in visiting farms, streets, residential communities, factories and schools when they are in Taiwan, Wang said, adding that the grass-roots-level exchanges have brought people from across the Strait even closer.