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Mainland tourists to Taiwan hit 2.34 mln by end of May

06-13-2011 08:49 BJT

The number of Chinese mainland tourists traveling to Taiwan reached 2.34 million as of the end of May, a top tourism official said on Sunday.

Tourism between the mainland and Taiwan has increased significantly since a previous travel ban was lifted in July 2008, Shao Qiwei, head of the China National Tourism Administration, said during a conference at the third Straits Forum, which is currently being held in the city of Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian Province.

"Opening package tours of Taiwan for mainlanders is in the common interest of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait," Shao said.

"The tours will also promote tourism on both sides and enhance mutual understanding," he added.

On the same day, Director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office Wang Yi announced a plan to launch a pilot travel program to allow mainlanders to visit Taiwan as individual tourists.

The program, to be kicked off on June 28, will initially apply to residents of the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, Wang said.

Editor:Sun Luying |Source: Xinhua

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