Mainland travelers granted landing permits to Taiwan`s outlying islands
Visitors from the Chinese mainland are allowed to travel to Taiwan's outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu starting Thursday, without applying in advance for Taiwan-issued entry permits.
The landing permit enables mainland visitors to stay in the offshore counties for up to 15 days. They are still banned from traveling to other parts of Taiwan without an entry permit.
According to figures released by the Kinmen County government, more than 1.5 million passengers have traveled by ferry in 2014 from Kinmen to the mainland's Fujian Province, 10.8 percent higher than in 2013.
Kinmen is about 10 kilometers away from Fujian's Xiamen City, making ferries the most convenient way to commute between the two destinations.
The landing permit is the latest measure to attract mainland residents to Taiwan. Taiwan began to open the door to individual tourists from mainland cities on June 28, 2011, and the mainland is currently the largest source of tourists to the island.