More Taiwanese Visit Mainland in 2002
Over 3.66 million Taiwanese people visited the Chinese mainland last year, an increase of 6.35 percent over the previous year, according to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).

In recent years, tourism exchanges across the Taiwan Straits have grown and Taiwanese visitors to the mainland have continued to rise.

The total number of Taiwanese going to the mainland in the last15 years was 27.46 million and the reasons for their travel have turned from family visits to tourism and business purposes, said Sun Gang, CNTA vice-director who is attending a two-day tourism fraternity meeting across the Taiwan Straits.

Experts predict that the number of Taiwanese visiting the mainland will continue to grow in 2003. Last month, some 300 university students from Taiwan visited Shanghai and Beijing, which will further promote mutual understanding and friendship among young people across the Straits.

Six Taiwan airline companies organized chartered flights from Jan. 26 to Feb. 10 this year, the first such flights in more than 50 years, carrying Taiwanese Spring Festival holidaymakers

Meanwhile, tourism exchanges continued to grow across the Straits. About ten tourism associations from the mainland visit Taiwan annually. Taiwan tourism associations also organize trips to the mainland.  

(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2003)