Mainland authorities have ruled out sending officials to take part in cross-strait discussions to allow mainland holidaymakers to visit Taiwan, Xinhua reported yesterday. The report said the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office would not send any representatives to the meetings, but the China National Tourism Administration hoped civilian organisations from both sides could hold talks to finalise the arrangements as soon as possible. The proposal to allow mainland residents to travel to Taiwan was part of a wide-ranging package of economic incentives announced during a visit by Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang, to Beijing this month. A spokesman for Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said the discussions did not have to involve officials because the island's government had appointed the Travel Agent Association, a civilian group, to handle the matter. He said Taiwan was still waiting for Beijing to list it as a tourism destination. Until then mainland residents could not apply to visit Taiwan for a holiday. Taiwan has promised to allow up to 1,000 mainland tourists a day to visit the island once the arrangement is in place. Last year, about 110,000 mainland residents visited Taiwan, mostly for business and cultural exchanges.