Mainland visitors to Taiwan up 45%


The tourism bureau in Taiwan says a record 2.6 million mainlanders visited the island last year, an increase of 45 percent from 2011. Visitors from Hong Kong and Macau totalled about one million in 2012, up 24 percent from the previous year.

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

The mainland has replaced Japan to become the biggest source of visitors to Taiwan and mainland tourists are among the biggest shoppers on the island, spending more than Tw$85.7 billion last year, the government data showed.

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