NANJING, China – Taiwan’s cross-Taiwan Strait tourism administration is expected to soon establish a second office in China to further tap into the huge Chinese market, Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai said Tuesday.
In addition to its existing Beijing office, the non-profit Taiwan Strait Tourism Association, which helps to operate cross-strait tourism business and negotiates with China, “should have no problem in the first half of the year” setting up a Shanghai office, Lai said at a promotional event for Taiwan’s lantern festival in the city of Nanjing.
“It is not enough to have only one office” promoting Taiwan tourism in a country of 1.3 billion people, the official added.
Among the Chinese travelers who visit Taiwan, 40 percent come from the Yangtze River delta region, which includes Shanghai, as well as Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, according to the association.
An office in Shanghai will help the association communicate more directly with travel agencies there and better understand local travelers’ needs, it added.
Currently there are 558 direct flights across the strait every week, with services from Taiwan flying to 41 destinations in China, said Kuo Tsai-wen, deputy minister of transportation and communication.
Taiwan first opened its borders to tour groups from China in 2008 after a decades-long stand-off between the two sides.
In addition, under a free independent traveler (FIT) program signed last June, a maximum of 500 Chinese tourists are allowed to enter Taiwan per day. Only residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen are eligible to travel under the program.