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Weekend charter flights, mainland tourists positive for Taiwan economy

  TAIPEI, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Weekend charter flights across the Taiwan Straits and mainland tourists visiting the island will be good for the economy of both sides, especially Taiwan, said Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kun Thursday.

  The head of the Taiwan-based foundation made the remarks when meeting here with Shao Qiwei, chairman of the Beijing-based Cross-Straits Tourism Communication Association (CSTCA).

  Under an agreement signed by the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and the SEF on June 13, mainland tourists can visit Taiwan by chartered flights on weekends from July.

  The first weekend charter flights flew across the straits on July 4, carrying excited mainland tourists and Taiwan residents joyful at the shorter and cheaper journey.

  Chiang said the weekend charter flights and mainland tourists visiting Taiwan had just begun, and he hoped more flights and terminals would be launched to bring to Taiwan more mainland visitors and more convenience to Taiwan businesspeople working on the mainland.

  Shao said Taiwan boasted abundant tourism resources and unique cultural resources, which were big attractions for mainland tourists. The mainland market harbored great potential.

  The prospects for the tourist cooperation across the straits was bright, he said, expressing hope for a good beginning and a sustainable future development.