SEF Chairman: Taiwan to host 5,000 mainland tourists a day in 2009

2008-07-16 03:51:24 GMT       2008-07-16 11:51:24 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- A Taiwan official was reported on Tuesday as saying the island was set to host a maximum of 5,000 Chinese mainland tourists each day next year, an increase of 2,000 over this year's quota.

The Taiwan-based Commercial Times also quoted Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Chiang Pin-Kun as saying the number could rise to 7,000 a day by 2010.

The increase would bring in an estimated annual revenue of 200 billion New Taiwan dollars (6.6 billion U.S. dollars), he said.

The mainland and Taiwan inaugurated the first regular weekend charter flights in almost 60 years earlier this month.

The current scheme for cross-Strait chartered flights allows the operation of 36 flights every weekend, from Friday to Monday, divided evenly between mainland and Taiwan airlines.

Mainland tourists are allowed to travel to Taiwan in groups of 10 to 40, staying for a maximum of 10 days.

The tour price varied in different cities, but was generally from 12,000 yuan (1,748 U.S. dollar) to 13,000 yuan, as much as the price of a package tour to Europe.

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