Mainlanders Visiting Taipei's Palace Museum Exceed Taiwanese
Xinhua, September 14, 2012
Taipei's Palace Museum has so far this year seen more visitors from the Chinese mainland than from Taiwan, the museum's director said on Friday.
The site received nearly 3 million visitors in the first eight months of 2012, with 47 percent of the total from the mainland and 36 percent from the island, according to Fung Ming-chu, curator of the museum.
Although authorities in Taiwan lifted a ban on mainlanders traveling to the island in July 2008, "this is the first time that the number of mainland visitors has exceeded number of visitors from Taiwan," Fung said.
Taipei's Palace Museum, considered a must-see during most tourists' Taiwan trips, receives 10,000 to 12,000 visitors a day on average.
To accommodate growing numbers of visitors, the museum's exhibition area is to be expanded from the current 7,268 square meters to 26,430 square meters by 2017, Fung said.
It has been estimated that the museum's expansion will cost up to 20 billion New Taiwan dollars (680.1 million U.S. dollars), according to its director.
The Chinese mainland is currently the biggest source of tourists to Taiwan.
In 2011, over 1.78 million mainland residents visited the island, a year-on-year increase of 9.4 percent, taking up nearly one third of the 6.08 million visitors Taiwan received last year, according to local tourism authorities.
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