TAIPEI — Some 2.8 million people visited Taiwan from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao in the first half of 2015, according to new official data.
That number accounted for 55 percent of the nearly five million visitors to the island from January to June.
The mainland was the biggest contributor of visitors to Taiwan in the six months. Compared with the same period in 2014, 121,783 more mainlanders made the trip across the Taiwan Straits.
Japanese and South Koreans ranked second and third, with about 750,000 and 330,000 visitors respectively.
According to authorities in Taiwan, 70.9 percent of travelers came to the island for sightseeing, 7.7 percent for business and 4 percent to visit family. The number of tourists increased by 1.4 percent, or 49,538people, over the same period last year.
Last year, the annual number of visitors to Taiwan exceeded nine million for the first time. Taiwan was expecting 10 million visitors this year.
The data also showed that 6.48 million Taiwan people traveled overseas in the first half. Nearly half of them came to the mainland, while just over a quarter went to Japan.
A total of 3.95 million mainland visitors came to Taiwan in 2014, an increase of 38.6 percent year-on-year, thanks to a relaxed visa policy and more effective tourism promotion.