Mainland Chinese visitor numbers to Taiwan plunge by most since 2008

In a photo taken on Oct 10, 2019, a helicopter carrying Taiwan's flag seen during the National Day celebrations in Taipei. PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI (BLOOMBERG) - China's ban on individual travel to Taiwan has led to a sharp drop in Chinese visitors in the past two months.

The number of mainlanders travelling to Taiwan plunged by 52.5 per cent year-on-year in October, according to data from its Tourism Bureau.

This followed a big dip in September.

October's monthly drop was the biggest since Taiwan relaxed rules in 2008 to let Chinese tourists visit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

As a result of the falling number of Chinese tourists, Taiwan's total visitor arrivals last month fell 2.15 per cent from the same period the previous year, according to the tourism bureau.

Visitor growth in the first 10 months slowed to 9.05 per cent, or 9.73 million arrivals.

China imposed a travel ban on individual travellers to Taiwan with effect from Aug 1, although Chinese nationals are still allowed to visit in tour groups.

The move came as Beijing attempted to isolate Taiwan and its independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen.

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