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Shaanxi, Taiwan should work to develop tourism links: official

Taipei, June 29 (CNA) Taiwan and China's Shaanxi Province can make better use of the direct cross-strait charter flight service to develop closer tourism links, a top Chinese official said Monday in Taipei.
"Taiwan is a big tourism market (for us) and we want to strengthen cooperation with the local tourism industry," Jing Junhai, vice governor of the People's Government of Shaanxi Province, said at a seminar to promote bilateral tourism exchanges between Taiwan and Shaanxi.
He said that the Taiwan tourism industry can work with his government to customize tour packages for visitors from Taiwan.
"The richness and diversity of Shaanxi's natural and historic resources are beyond compare. We hope more Taiwan tourists would come to visit Shaanxi as it is an ancient, scenic and modern province," he added.
Jing said that Shaanxi's central location makes it a convenient destination for Taiwan travelers, noting that it takes only 2 hour 40 minutes on a direct charter flight from Taipei to the historic province.
He added that Shaanxi also offers a multi-faceted experience all year round, with attractions that include the historic Qing Terra-cotta Museum, Famen Temple and Dayan Pagoda. The natural attractions include the Yellow River Hukou Waterfall, Qinling Mountain and giant panda natural reserve, he added.
According to Jing, Shaanxi attracted more than 100 million visitors from home and abroad in 2008, an increase of 11.94 million from the previous year, which represented the highest growth in tourist arrivals among all of China's provinces.
Jing, who led a delegation of some 20 tourism, economic and trade officials from Shaanxi Province, arrived in Taiwan June 27 for a week-long trip to promote cooperation between the tourism industries on both sides.
The delegation will also hold a seminar to explore more economic and trade opportunities between Taiwan and Shaanxi.
(By Rachel Chan)