Firmer handshake across the Strait

27 Feb 2009

Deepening of Cross-Strait ties between China and Taiwan have been ramped up even further with the arrival of a large delegation of Mainland tourism bigwigs in Taipei on Wednesday, February 25. This follows on the heels of a series of flights last December from 12 Chinese cities to four Taiwanese cities.

Shao Qiwei, director of China’s National Tourism Administration, led the 458-member party, which also included representatives of several local governments and 113 Chinese travel agencies approved to organise tourist groups to what was referred to in the past as “China’s renegade province”.

During the high-profile visit, participants will be inspecting various well-known Taiwan attractions such as Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, Taroko Gorge National Park and outlying islands Penghu and Kinmen among others. Some will head for golf courses, hoping to design options for the Chinese golf sector, which may be still small but is projected to grow rapidly. Taiwan's green fees are reportedly cheaper than China's.

It is expected that after conditions are deemed safe for Chinese nationals, their officials will aggressively encourage trips to Taiwan.

Business Traveller learned also yesterday that direct marketing giant Amway China is arranging an incentive travel cruise experience to Taiwan in mid-March for about 17,000 of its top producers and their families. The group will depart from Shanghai on several vessels and arrive in the port city of Keelung, after which it will tour the country’s coastline.

In another development, international cruise company Costa Cruises received approval from China’s transportation ministry to operate three special cruises between the Mainland and Taiwan.

Margie T Logarta

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