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Proposal to allow PRC tourists seen boosting economy

Analysts say plan to admit 1,000 visitors daily could contribute as much as US$755m a year

Proposal to allow PRC tourists seen boosting economy

Taiwan's plan to allow visitors from China to enter directly could contribute as much as US$15 billion a year to the island's economy, a tourism expert said.
"We hope the authorities will soon allow mainland tourists to come to Taiwan," Lee Ming-Huei, president of Taiwan Hospitality & Tourism College, said at a summit between China's Communist Party and Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang in Beijing yesterday. "It would boost our economy dramatically."
Taiwan may allow as many as 1,000 Chinese tourists a day to enter directly instead of via other territories, Joseph Wu, the island's Mainland Affairs Council chairman, said in September. The Democratic Progressive Party-led government in Taipei is expected to this year approve the plan, a major step toward normalizing ties between the two sides that haven't officially called off hostilities since the end of a civil war in 1949.
Speaking to 300 Taiwanese and 200 Chinese delegates at the third annual Cross-Strait Economic and Cultural Summit, China's President Hu Jintao said yesterday the mainland will enhance economic ties with Taiwan and is keen on direct transportation links.
China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since 1949 and don't yet have direct transportation links. Taiwan residents flying to China mainly transit in Hong Kong or Macau, while the island does not yet allow Chinese tourists to enter.
A thousand Chinese tourists entering Taiwan daily would contribute US$755 million a year to its economy, tourism expert Lee said today. If the number of visitors increases to 20,000 a day, they would add US$15 billion a year, he said.
Taiwan's government in February said economic growth may this year slow to 4.3 percent from 4.6 percent in 2006 as gains in overseas sales ease. The International Monetary Fund this month forecast 4.2 percent growth in 2007.
More than 4.4 million Taiwanese visited China last year, while only 200,000 mainlanders were able to visit the island as Taiwan's government restricts entry to mainlanders who have relatives on the island.
The Communist and Nationalist parities should "hold hands to cooperate, prevent Taiwanese independence and preserve cross-strait peace," Hu said yesterday in a speech to welcome Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang, who is attending the Summit that ended yesterday.
Lien and more than 300 Kuomintang officials and business leaders arrived in Beijing on April 27 after touring provincial cities where local officials welcomed them. Lien first met with Hu in 2005, and again last year, ending more than 60 years of animosity with the Communist Party.


Updated : 2021-05-18 14:49 GMT+08:00