The Chinese mainland will allow residents in several pilot cities to travel to Taiwan as individuals from the second quarter this year.
Shao Qiwei, chairman of the Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association (CTEA), said that if the preparation work is ready, the mainland will start a trial run of this policy from the second quarter. Shao was meeting with Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), in Taipei.
Shao said the pilot cities will include Beijing and Shanghai.
Currently mainland tourists can only travel to Taiwan on tour packages with a stay of up to 15 days.
According to Taiwan’s mainland affairs department, 1.82 million mainland tourists visited Taiwan on tour packages from July 2008 to the end of 2010.
English.News.cn quoted Shao as saying the mainland would like to qualify more travel agencies to sell Taiwan tour packages. He said people on each side of the Taiwan Strait will deepen their understanding of each other if individual travels are allowed.