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Record 2.6m Chinese visitors to Taiwan in 2012 highlights fast improving ties

Published on Feb 22, 2013 3:17 PM

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan said a record 2.6 million Chinese nationals visited the island last year, up a massive 45 per cent from 2011, highlighting the fast improving ties between Taipei and Beijing.

Last year, two million Chinese arrived in Taiwan for sightseeing while another 570,000 came for business and other purposes, compared with a total of 1.8 million in 2011, the tourism bureau said.

The figures excluded visitors from the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, which came in at one million in 2012, up 24 per cent from the previous year, the bureau said.

Taiwan has seen a dramatic influx of visitors from mainland China since the island's Beijing-friendly government lifted a ban on Chinese group tourists in 2008 and further allowed in solo tourists in mid-2011.

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