Mainland Chinese Outbound Tourism to Taiwan: Recent Progress
The economy of China has been growing explosively in the recent decade and is receiving worldwide attention. China not only has the largest population in the world, but also has continued to be ranked first in international tourism expenditure since 2012 (UNWTO, 2014b). The rapid growth of the Chinese outbound travel market over the past decade has drawn the attention of almost every destination market, especially Taiwan. Mainland China and Taiwan are not only geographically close but also culturally similar. However, the people were separated after the Chinese Civil War in 1940s. After 50 years of political separation and barriers, the people in the two areas experienced an increased mutual sense of mystery and curiosity about the other side, which provided a strong motivation for Mainland Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan. The Mainland China and Taiwan governments finally agreed to launch direct flights across the Taiwan Strait in 2008 (Foundation, 2008), and the daily quota of Chinese tourists allowed to visit Taiwan increased to 9,000 per day in 2014 (Foundation, 2013). However, the complicated political and legal issues have made the development of Cross-Strait tourism very different from other international tourism destinations. With the recent boom in tourism flows between Mainland China and Taiwan, it would be of a timely issue to review the changing tourism markets between the two areas.