TAIPEI, Taiwan – Thirteen tourists from Xiamen City in China’s southeastern province of Fujian are expected to arrive in Taipei on June 28, making them the first Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan independently rather than as part of a tour group, a travel agency said Sunday.
The independent tourists are scheduled to depart from Xiamen for Taiwan’s outlying island of Kinmen by ferry before taking a flight from Kinmen to Taipei’s Songshan Airport, according to Taipei-based Comfort Travel Service.
The visitors are expected to tour Taiwan on independent itineraries ranging from three days to under 15 days, according to Comfort.
Other independent Chinese tourists organized by different travel agencies are also expected to arrive in Taiwan from Shanghai and Beijing that day, the first day of the new free independent travelers (FIT) program.
The Taiwanese and mainland Chinese authorities have also agreed to allow Fujian residents to travel to Taiwan’s outlying islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu on FIT tours.
Under Taiwan’s current framework for the FIT program, a maximum of 500 independent Chinese tourists will be allowed to enter the country per day.
At present, tourists from China are only allowed to visit Taiwan as part of a tour group, with a cap of 4,000 entries per day.