Taiwan opens up to Chinese FIT travel

STARTING June 28, individual travellers from mainland China will be allowed to visit Taiwan on FIT visas.

The new visa rules will initially be available to residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, with a quota of 500 arrivals per day.

Travellers above the age of 20 must prove they have the equivalent of NT$200,000 (US$6,900) in the bank, or a verifiable annual income of NT$500,000. The maximum length of stay is 15 days.

Eligible travellers can apply through 33 travel agents designated to handle group tours to Taiwan.

One of four assigned travel agents in Xiamen, Xiamen C&D Travel has come up with five FIT itineraries ranging from four to six days. Their four-day Taipei package, including direct flight and five-star hotel stay, costs RMB$3,980 (US$615) per person.

In order to cope with burgeoning FIT demand, cross-strait flights will be increased from 370 to 558 per week. The additonal frequency will go to second- and third-tier cities. North China is now served by 44 weekly flights, Yangtze River Delta has 165 flights, and Pearl River Delta has 48 flights.

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