1,600 mainland tourists have arrived in Taiwan, on board the first cruise ship to sail directly from the Chinese mainland to the island, since direct links were reopened last year. Direct shipping links are expected to significantly boost economic and tourism ties across the straits.
The passenger liner "Legend of the Seas" arrived at Keelung port on Monday morning, two days after it left Shanghai.
These groups are the first of the largest tour group ever sent from the mainland to Taiwan. The whole group comprises 12,000 tourists, divided into 9 parties. Each tour will last six days and seven nights. This huge group is expected to spend around 100 million yuan on accommodation and another 30 million yuan shopping during their tour.
The mainland began to send tour groups to Taiwan in July 2008. Since then, more than 100,000 mainland visitors have travelled to Taiwan.