Taiwan plans to allow individual tourists from mainland China to travel to the region, possibly on February 17, 2011, the time of the annual Lantern Festival.
A senior official from the local government said that individual travel will be permitted in August 2011 at the latest. Taiwan will first launch individual travel on a trial basis in selected mainland cities.
The annual number of mainland visitors to Taiwan is expected to reach three million in next three years and to continue rising.
According to Taiwan's tourism department, the average age of mainland tourists is 52, so retailers should plan accordingly.