TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Between January and July of this year, tourism aboard passenger ships traveling between Taipei Harbor and Pingtan, Fujian Province has increased by 18 percent.
Every week, four boats travel round-trip from Taipei to Pingtan. A trip aboard the Chinese vessel "Strait" (海峽號) or Taiwanese vessel "Li-na" (麗娜號) can reach the other side in three hours, according to CNA.
According to the Taiwan International Ports Corporation, 580,000 tourists traverse the Taiwan Strait a year, up 18 percent from January. Of these travelers, 70 percent are traveling independently and 30 percent are traveling with a group.
What's more, the amount of Chinese tourists on these boats has surpassed Taiwanese at a 60:40 ratio.
The Ports Corporation said that passengers can more swiftly board ships now that a new traveler service office has opened on the pier and a new inspection office is slated to open by year end.
At maximum capacity, "Li-na" can hold 774 passengers and "Strait" can hold 760 people. The Corporation hopes that the new office will soon allow passengers to clear customs in just over an hour, opposed to the two hour wait time at present.