The Chinese mainland sincerely hopes the non-governmental tourist organizations on both sides of the Taiwan Strait make arrangements allowing tourists from the mainland to travel to the island as soon as possible, a mainland official said here Thursday.
Zhang Xiqin, deputy director of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), made the remarks at the on-going Second Forum on Cross-Strait Tourism.
Zhang, also head with the cross-Strait tourism exchange association, said "We expect the Taiwan side to authorize non-governmental tourist institution to negotiate as soon as possible with our association on cross-Strait exchange and cooperation in the field of tourism."
The Chinese mainland has been taking an active and pragmatic approach to promoting tourist exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, and has made full preparations for mainland citizens to visit Taiwan.
From Oct. 28 to Nov. 6, 2005, head of the China Tourist Association Shao Qiwei led a study group to Taiwan, which paved the way for opening tourist routes to the island.
The CNTA, the Ministry of Public Security and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council jointly released a regulation on mainland residents' travel to Taiwan on April 16 this year.
The first executive meeting of the cross-Strait tourist exchange association was held on Aug. 17, 2006, which, according to Zhang, indicates preparations were completed and fully reflects the sincerity and wish of the mainland in promoting mutual tourist exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.
The Chinese central government permitted mainland residents to tour Taiwan last May.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2006)