Chinese delegation in Taiwan to inspect tourism market
China sent a travel agents' delegation to Taiwan Monday to make preparations for Chinese tourists to the island, dpa reported.
The inspection team was led by Fan Guishan, vice director of the Cross-Strait Tourism Association.
Taiwan's Tourism Bureau held a banquet to welcome the Chinese delegation.
"The arrival of mainland tourists is like a downpour on sun-dried land. This is the aspiration of the people in both Taiwan and the mainland," Janice Lai, director of the bureau, said at the banquet.
She said Taiwan would try its best to guarantee quality of service to Chinese tourists so that they could enjoy their stay in Taiwan.
During the 11-day inspection tour, the Chinese delegation is scheduled to visit Ali Mountain, Sun Moon Lake, Taipei 101 and the National Palace Museum.
The team's visit is to pave the way for Taiwan's lifting of the five-decade ban on Chinese tourists reached Friday in Beijing in talks between Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and China's Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait.
During the talks it was agreed that Taiwan and China would open weekend charter flights which would be expanded to daily charter flights and eventually to regular flights.
The charter flights are due to be launched on July 4 when an inaugural tourist delegation from China - totalling 600 people - will arrive in Taipei.
The delegation will comprise Chinese officials, travel company managers and tourists.
The real launch has to wait until July 18, when Taiwan will start accepting a maximum of 3,000 Chinese tourists per day, or 1 million a year.
The influx of Chinese visitors should boost Taiwan's sluggish tourism industry as currently only 3 million foreigners visit the island each year.