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The Chinese mainland and Taiwan will launch a pilot travel program next Tuesday that will allow mainlanders to visit Taiwan as individual tourists.
The good news is echoed by the Taiwan tourism delegation now taking part in the Beijing International Tourism Expo. They are in town to drum up resources for the mainland's travel enthusiasts.
Each city in Taiwan, such as Taipei, Tainan and Matsu has set up its own booth to advocate their unique tourism resources, such as natural landscape, historical sites as well as local snacks and souvenirs.
A tourism official from Matsu said, "We have lots of appeal. Our unique natural landscape is so worth while to visit. You don't have to go to Greece to see the small islands dotting the Aegean Sea. You can appreciate the same scenery in Matsu. You will feel like you are actually in Greece."
The mainland and Taiwan have witnessed booming tourism in recent years after the two sides agreed to lift a ban on mainlanders' traveling to Taiwan in July of 2008.
Industry insiders estimate that the individual travel program will bring in 2 billion yuan, or about 307 million U.S. dollars in tourism revenues for Taiwan within half a year.