Taipei – Taiwan expects to receive 1 million Chinese tourists in 2010 as the number of tour groups from the mainland grows, a newspaper said Monday.
An average of 3,440 Chinese tourists have been entering Taiwan daily since January, putting the island on track to reach more than a million by the end of the year, Tourism Minister Janice Lai was quoted as saying by the Want Daily newspaper.
Taiwan lifted its ban on Chinese tour groups in 2008 after President Ma Ying-jeou from the China-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party took office. Taiwan still bans entry by individual Chinese tourists.
In the past two years, revenues from Chinese tour groups have reached 61.1 billion Taiwan dollars (about 2 billion US dollars).
Since the ban was lifted, Chinese tour groups have contributed 250 million Taiwan dollars to the island’s hotel industry, Chuang Hsiu-shih, director of the Taiwan Tourism Hotel Association, said, according to the report.
Chinese tourists have also helped boost retail sales. Lee Ya-ping, marketing director of the shopping mall in the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper, said the mall is heading for a profit this year after recent losses.
The 508-metre building contains around five floors of shops in addition to its business offices and receives about 100 Chinese tour groups each day.