Chinese visitors spend $3 billion in Taiwan

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TAIPEI – Chinese mainland tourists spent 91 billion New Taiwan dollars (3 billion U.S. dollars) in Taiwan over the the past two and a half years, Taiwan authorities said Sunday.

Taiwan, which opened to package tours for mainland visitors in July 2008, last year hosted about 1.17 million mainland tourists, up 98 percent year on year, said a statement from the authority in charge of cross-Strait affairs.

Taiwan allows mainland tourists to travel to the island on package tours of up to 15 days.

By the end of last year, 1.82 million mainland tourists had visited Taiwan since 2008.

Taiwan would continue efforts to safeguard the interests of mainland tourists and improve emergency response mechanisms to cope with natural disasters and other accidents, the statement said.