Mainland China eases restrictions on travel to Taiwan

Mainland Chinese tourists will enjoy more convenience in visiting Taiwan as the mainland's Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association eased restrictions Nov. 10 for those wishing to tour.

Mainland China’s Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association has announced that it will ease travel restrictions to Taiwan, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of Taiwan said Nov. 10.

According to Liu Te-shun, deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, the new policy will make it easier for mainland Chinese citizens to visit Taiwan and could increase the number of mainland Chinese visitors.

“In the past,” Liu explained, “all the members of a travel group had to have their permanent residency in the same municipality for them to travel to Taiwan.”

The new policy abolishes this requirement, according to the MOTC. “Immediate family members or members of organizations holding permanent residency in different provinces, cities or regions will henceforth be able to join the same tour group to Taiwan,” it said.

Taiwan opened its doors to solo mainland Chinese tourists in late June. However, the increase in the number of solo visitors has not been as high as expected, due to restrictions and complex application procedures.

Taiwan has since been working on methods to boost the number of mainland Chinese tourists, such as simplifying application procedures and easing travel restrictions to Taiwan’s outlying islands.

According to statistics from the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association, 1.16 million mainland Chinese tourists visited Taiwan last year. The number is expected to be about the same this year.

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