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Mainland tourists to Taiwan exceeds 450,000

Since Taiwan was open to mainland tourists in last July, the number of mainland travelers to the island has surpassed 450,000 as of Saturday, according to Du Jiang, deputy director of the National Tourism Administration.

"Since last July, the business of mainland people traveling to Taiwan has achieved delightful results... making a solid foundation for the healthy development of cross-Straits travel industries," Du said before the opening of the 5th Cross-Straits Travel Fair.

Among the 450,000 tourists, 400,000 made their trips this year.

The 5th Cross-Straits Travel Fair runs from Sept. 6 to 11 at Xiamen city of southeast Fujian Province. The event has attracted about 2,000 attendees from travel companies and associations from the mainland and Taiwan.

Under an agreement signed by the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation on June 13 last year, mainland tourists were permitted to visit Taiwan via charter flights starting in July.

(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2009)