Taiwan is expecting a 29% increase in visitors from China this year, as the island starts to permit as many as 500 individuals from the mainland to visit daily, Bloomberg reported. China and Taiwan agreed earlier this month to allow individual tourists, from Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, to visit for the first time in six decades, starting June 28. The two sides also aim to increase weekly direct flights by 51% to 558. Since Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, Taiwan and China have signed 15 agreements amid warming ties. Ma also opened Taiwan’s doors to mainland group visits in mid-2008. According to Barclays Capital (Barclays; BCS.NYSE, BARC.LSE), allowing individual mainland visitors may increase Chinese arrivals to 4 million by 2012 – from less than 200,000 in 2008 – adding a potential US$4.59 billion to GDP.
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