Taiwan set to lift ban on solo Chinese tourists
Tuesday 04 January 2011
Taiwan is expected to lift its decades-old ban on visits by individual Chinese tourists from April in yet another sign of the island's fast-warming ties with China, officials and local media said Sunday.
Currently Chinese are only allowed to travel to the island in groups as Taiwan's authorities are concerned they might otherwise over-stay their visas and work illegally.
"We're ready for the further opening measures," an official at Taiwan's China policy decision-making body Mainland Affairs Council said on condition of anonymity.
She would not provide details, but the Taipei-based China Times said that up to 500 residents from Shanghai and Beijing would be permitted to travel to the island each day on a trial basis.
"The two sides have reached a consensus on the long-anticipated policy, with the measures starting around the Tomb Sweeping Day" which falls on April 5, the Times said, without identifying its source.
Solo Chinese tourists would be allowed to stay in Taiwan for up to 15 days, it said.
When asked to comment on the report, Chen Chiung-wen, an official at Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, said she expected the new measures to be realised soon "as they meet the targets of the two sides".
She said "tourists from China for the first time will be given the chance of making in-depth tours of Taiwan," adding that further discussion would be needed.
The daily quota of Chinese visitors was increased from 3,000 to 4,000 from Saturday, according to an agreement reached in Taipei last month.
Beijing still considers self-ruled Taiwan part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary even though the island has ruled itself since 1949 at the end of a civil war.
But the former bitter rivals have taken a series of measures to boost tourism since Taiwan's Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008.
Chinese tourists made 1.6 million visits to Taiwan last year and authorities on the island expect the figure to rise to up to 2.0 million this year.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...