TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The number of Chinese tourist arrivals to Taiwan dropped to 610,524 in the first four months of the year, representing a 50.2 percent plunge from the same period last year, according to data released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC)
The drop in those participating in tour groups was even steeper, with a 61 percent year-on-year decline, with 267,447 taking part in group tours, based on National Immigration Agency data, the MAC said.
The number of independent Chinese travelers dropped as well, recording a 36.3 decline compared with the same period last year to 343,077, according the data.
Since President Tsai Ing-wen and her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party government were sworn in last May 20, China has been using tourism as a political tool, lowering the number of its citizens allowed to visit the island.
China has sought to inflict economic pain on Taiwan by reducing the number of tourists since Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen refused to endorse the "1992 consensus" after her inauguration in May of last year.
The consensus refers to an understanding reached between Taipei and Beijing in 1992 that there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret its meaning.