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Over 10,000 Chinese tourists might visit Taiwan in new year holiday  Jan 13, 2009

Taipei - About 10,000 Chinese tourists are likely to visit Taiwan during the coming nine-day Lunar New Year holiday period, Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai predicted Tuesday.

An average of over 1,000 Chinese tourists will visit Taiwan per day during the festive period and accompanying high travel season, which starts Jan. 25, according to Lai.

She said many hoteliers in central and eastern regions of Taiwan have revealed in recent days that it is already difficult to book a room in their facilities.

At present, China only allows residents from 13 cities and provinces to sight-see in Taiwan, although the two sides began exchanging direct charter flight services from mid-July last year.

The number of cross-Taiwan Strait daily charters already exceeds 108 flights per week, up from an initial 36 flights per week, after the service was made into a daily convenience in mid-December rather than just weekends. As the Taipei-based Taiwan Strait Tourism and Travel Association and China's Cross-Strait Tourism Association are slated to hold a new round of talks on boosting bilateral exchanges shortly before or after the Lunar New Year holiday, Lai said she will continue asking the Chinese side during the talks -- to be held in Hong Kong or Macau -- to allow more of its people to come to Taiwan.

Lai said that this time around, she is hopeful that China will approve residents of its Hunan, Henan, Hainan and Guangxi provinces to make pleasure trips to Taiwan, hopefully as soon as possible after the Lunar New Year, she added.

Over 10,000 Chinese tourists might visit Taiwan in new year holiday
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