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Mainlanders boost Taiwan's tourism industry

Updated: 2013-07-19 06:45
( Xinhua)

TAIPEI - Visitors from the Chinese mainland have become a formidable driving force for Taiwan's tourism industry growth since 2008 when the island opened to mainland tourists.

Owners of pastry and gift shops on the island have witnessed a boost in business over the past five years, due to mainlanders' buying power.

The production value of pineapple cake, liked among mainland tourists, has increased 17 times in the past four years, generating a revenue of 26 billion New Taiwan dollars (NTD) (868.4 million U.S. dollars), according to Taiwan statistics authorities.

Mainlanders' daily spending increased from 93.75 U.S. dollars per person in 2008, to 163.91 U.S. dollars in 2011.

The latest figures from Taiwan Strait Tourism Association revealed that 1.19 million Chinese mainlanders visited Taiwan in the first five months this year, up by 12 percent compared with the same period in 2012.

Over the past five years, the total number of mainlanders visiting Taiwan has reached 6.2 million, according to Shao Qiwei, head of the Association for Tourism Exchange Across Taiwan Straits.

The increase in the number of tourists from the mainland has also stimulated Taiwan's tourism investment. Since 2008, the island has invested 280 billion NTD in building hotels and renovating accommodation facilities.