The number of individual mainland Chinese tourists applying to visit Taiwan has increased 60 percent since the ROC goverment policy was implemented one year ago, according to the National Immigration Agency June 28.
In the last six months of 2011, the NIA said, a total of 38,616 mainland visitors applied to visit Taiwan, or an average of 284 visitors per day. In the first six months of 2012, by contrast, 64,918 visitors applied to visit, an average of 451 per day.
“The rise in the number of applications indicates that the government’s policy of online application procedures for these visitors has paid dividends,” said NIA Director-General Hsieh Li-kung.
Simplifying the application process for solo visits to Taiwan is a top policy of the NIA, Hsieh added. “It currently takes us only 48 hours to process the relevant paperwork.”
In addition to relaxing restrictions, simplifying application procedures, and speeding up the review and issuing of the documents, he said, the ROC government has “actively communicated with mainland China’s tourism and immigration-related agencies.”
“Through bilateral communication, as well as giving continued consideration to the principles of open and safety management mechanisms, we hope people from both sides can experience each other’s culture via various exchanges.”
Taiwan launched the independent mainland Chinese visitor program on June 28 of last year, according to which a maximum 500 mainland Chinese per day were allowed to enter Taiwan for two-week visits. This privilege, however, was at first granted only to residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen.
In February 2012, Taipei agreed to expand the program to include residents from eight additional mainland Chinese cities—Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Shenzhen and Tianjin.
By Grace Kuo