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Policy implementation of opening up Taiwan to Mainland tourists

(1) In accordance with the Cross-Strait Agreement on Mainland Tourists Traveling to Taiwan signed between the SEF and the ARATS on June 13, 2008, the first group of Mainland tourists arrived in Taiwan on July 4, 2008. Mainlanders were able to travel directly to Taiwan for tourism purposes starting July 2008, and by the end of July 2014, an accumulated total of 7.8 million visits where made to Taiwan from the Mainland, according to statistics of the National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior. Based on estimates that Mainland tourists spend US$232-295 per day and stay 6.5 to 7 nights in Taiwan per visit, the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) calculates that Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan have generated NT$396.2 billion in tourism foreign exchange earnings for Taiwan since such visits were first allowed up to the end of July 2014; while at the same time, it also helped to promote investment and development in domestic tourism-related industries.

(2) In view of rapid increase of Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan, and after Taiwan Strait Tourism Association, Cross-strait Tourism Exchange Association, SEF, and ARATS consultations, and also with the MOTC assessments on sufficiency of plane capacity, hotel, tourist bus, and other tourist reception capabilities, the daily quota for Mainland group visitors to Taiwan was increased from the original average of 4,000 visitors to 5,000 visitors on April 1, 2013. On the same day, the National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior simultaneously announced the increase in daily quota for Mainland tourist applicatants from 5,840 to 7,300.

(3) On June 21, 2011, the SEF and the ARATS exchanged letters confirming the First Amendment to the Cross-Strait Agreement on Travel by Mainland Residents to Taiwan, formally allowing Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan. The first independent tourists from the Mainland arrived in Taiwan on June 28 2011. Independent travel to Taiwan is currently allowed from 26 Mainland cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Jinan, Xi'an, Fuzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Suzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shijiazhuang, Changchun, Hefei, Changsha, Nanning, Kunming and Quanzhou. Moreover, on July 18, 2014, it was announced that the 10 cities of Harbin, Taiyuan, Nanchang, Guiyang, Dalian, Wuxi, Wenzhou, Zhongshan, Yantai, and Zhangzhou would be opened to such travel effective from August 18, 2014. On April 16, 2014, the daily quota for Mainland visitors to Taiwan was increased from 3,000 visitors to 4,000. Since independent travel to Taiwan was first allowed to the end of July 2014, a total of over 1.17 million Mainlanders have made such visits.

(4) The government will continue, through mechanisms established under the Cross-Strait Tourism Agreement, to communicate with the Mainland on affairs related to Mainland tourists to Taiwan in order to achieve the policy objectives of enhancing the Mainland public's awareness and understanding of Taiwan, promoting benign cross-strait interactions, and accelerating the development of tourism-related industries in Taiwan.