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Kaohsiung City begins feeling benefits of China links

Kaohsiung, Jan. 15 (CNA) Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan has begun feeling positive effects of last year's inauguration of direct air and shipping links across the Taiwan Strait, improved further with the approach of Lunar New Year later this month, a tourism official said Thursday.
Wu Chung-lin, chief of the Kaohsiung International Airport Service Center run by the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, said the southern port city is increasingly feeling the benefits of the direct cross-strait charter flights that were made into a daily service Dec. 15, 2008.
Although only Taiwan-based aviation companies are plying three round trips per week between Kaohsiung and Chinese destinations, Wu said the number of Chinese tourists coming to Kaohsiung has been on the rise in the month that the daily charter flight services have been in operation.
Meanwhile, the number of tourist departures for China from Kaohsiung has grown by 2,000 over the past one month.
Wu predicted that a larger number of Chinese visitors will travel to Kaohsiung and choose to leave Taiwan from the port city during the upcoming Lunar New Year high season.
At present, TransAsia Airways provides one round-trip charter flight from Kaohsiung to Hangzhou every Tuesday, while UNI Airways Corp. and China Airlines each run two-way charters to Shenzhen and Shanghai on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Over the past month ending Jan. 15, the three airlines transported a total of 3,196 passengers on the charter routes, recording an average passenger load factor of 64 percent.
Kaohsiung Tourism Association Chairman Tseng Fu-hsing said business at local hotels had improved in recent weeks thanks to the direct charter services to the three Chinese destinations, evidence in that some 80 percent of their rooms had been booked to date in the runup to the Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 26. Quite a few of the customers are Chinese tourists, he noted.
Kaohsiung City Tourism Bureau Director-General Lin Kun-shan also expressed hope that more Chinese tourists will visit the city during the festive period and that even more will come in the future once the effects of the recently established cross-strait air links are better established.
Kaohsiung City will also benefit even more from the links if existing restrictions on Chinese tourists coming to Taiwan are further relaxed, he forecast.
Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai predicted Tuesday that about 10,000 Chinese tourists are likely to visit Taiwan during the coming nine-day Lunar New Year holiday period.
She said many hoteliers in central and eastern regions of Taiwan have revealed in recent days that it is already difficult to book a room in their facilities.
(By Flor Wang)




Updated : 2021-07-26 11:44 GMT+08:00