Taipei – The number of arriving Chinese visitors broke the 3,000 mark for the first time Wednesday to reach 3,043, according to statistics released that day by the Tourism Bureau.
The tourists, among a total of 105 tour groups from major Chinese cities and provinces, arrived in Taiwan throughout the day, either via direct charter flights across the Taiwan Strait or through Hong Kong or Macau, Tourism Bureau officials said.

According to an agreement signed by the two sides of the Taiwan Strait last June, Taiwan allows entry of a maximum of 3,000 Chinese tourists per day, although due to the global economic downturn, the daily figure had never before hit the daily limit.

Tourism officials said the unrealized quotas from previous months can be used to accommodate the influx of Chinese tourists.

With cross-strait relations improving steadily, more Chinese tourists are expected to visit Taiwan in the future, the officials went on.

As Thailand has been plagued by anti-government protests in recent weeks, the officials said, many tourists have dropped their Thailand travel plans and have instead included Taiwan on their vacation itineraries.

Meanwhile, many Hong Kong citizens also took advantage of their Easter holidays to visit Taiwan, leading to a full load factor on nearly all Hong Kong-Taiwan flights and prompting carriers operating the route to offer additional flights in recent days to meet the surge in demand.