Tour chiefs to visit Taiwan to clear the way for trips

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 October, 2005, 12:00am

A 64-member delegation from the National Tourism Administration will visit Taiwan this month on a 10-day trip, paving the way for mainland tourists to visit the island.

Administration chief Shao Qiwei would lead the heads of provincial- and city-level tourism bureaus during the visit from October 28, making his group the highest-ranking team from the tourist sector to visit the island, a government source disclosed.

The source said Mr Shao's deputy Zhang Xiqin would also accompany the tourism administration director in the visit. Mr Shao will visit Taiwan in his capacity as head of the China Travel Association.

The delegation was expected to exchange views with local travel agencies in Taipei and the southern city of Kaohsiung on mainland tourists visiting Taiwan, the source said.

Taiwan has decided to open its doors to mainland tourists and has authorised the Travel Agent Association to negotiate with mainland officials.

Beijing has agreed to the talks following landmark visits by then opposition Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan in April and People First Party chairman James Soong Chu-yu the following month.

The source said the group would tour the island, visiting places such as Sun Moon Lake in Taichung, central Taiwan and Alishan in Chiayi, in the south.