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Ma proposes luring tourists via cross-strait links

Main opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) proposed yesterday luring international tourists to Taiwan via direct cross-Taiwan Strait air links at a time when Beijing is set to host the 2008 Olympic Games in August this year.
Ma made the proposal when broaching his tourism policy at an election campaign activity organized by a group of backers from the domestic tourism industry in support of his presidential bid at the Daan Forest Park in downtown Taipei.
Ma proposed using the National Palace Museum as a centerpiece to arrange special package tours to attract more foreign tourists via direct cross-strait flights to Taiwan from China, where the 2008 Olympics will be held in Beijing and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
According to Ma, the reason he pledged to make weekend direct charter flights between Taiwan and China a reality before July 1 this year if he is elected on March 22 is to help Taiwan businesses cash in on the lucrative business opportunities stemming from the Olympic Games.
The KMT presidential candidate asserted Friday that if elected Taiwan's president, he will make direct weekend charter flights between Taiwan and China a reality by July and implement daily charter flights by the end of this year before eventually launching normally scheduled flights between the two sides by June 2009.
In line with the opening of direct flights across the strait, Ma also promised Friday to permit as many as 3,000 Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan per day in the first year of the opening, 5,000 per day in the second year, 7,000 in the third and 10,000 in the fourth.
"In an effort to help Taiwan businesses better seize business opportunities before, during and after the Olympic Games in Beijing, more opening measures must be put in place to serve that end, " Ma said, adding that "the local tourism industry and many related sectors have been hit hard by the reclusive mindset of the Democratic Progressive Party government in recent years."
"Taiwan must open its market to Chinese tourists if this country wants to increase its visitor arrivals," Ma said. He pointed out that "direct China links will be necessary to attract both Chinese and international tourists, in particular those foreign tourists who are interested in visiting Taiwan after attending the Olympic Games."
Ma also proposed granting landing visa treatment to foreign nationals who have an entry visa or residence permit issued by the United States, Canada or a third country to allow them to do short-term sightseeing in Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-05-11 13:26 GMT+08:00