Three mini links travelers forecast to top 2 million in 2019

Taipei, The number of people traveling by sea between Taiwan's offshore county of Kinmen and China's Fujian Province is expected to exceed 2 million this year, based on a growing popularity of ferry service between the two sides, Kinmen's Tourism Department said Monday.

In the first half of the year, more than 1.06 million people traveled between Kinmen and Fujian via what are known as the three mini links, an increase of 20.52 percent from a year earlier, according to the department's data.

Taiwanese passengers accounted for 52.64 percent of the travelers, Chinese 45.37 percent, and visitors from other countries 1.99 percent, the data showed.

With Kinmen preparing to launch a series of festivities in July, visitor arrivals via the three mini links are expected to rise sharply, Tourism Department Director Ting Chien-kang said. In June, arrivals and departures to and from Kinmen via the mini links totaled 187,468, an increase of 21.77 percent year-on-year, the department's data indicated.

It showed that there was a 10.44 percent year-on-year rise in the number of Taiwanese travelers to 104,622 in June and a 41.52 percent increase in the number of Chinese passengers to 79,279.

The number of passengers traveling between Kinmen and Fujian via ferry was 1.9 million in 2018, a record high since the service was launched 2001, Ting said.

The number of annual three mini links travelers between the two sides passed the 1 million mark in 2013, he said.

The three mini links refer to postal, commercial shipping and travel links by sea between Taiwan's Kinmen and Fujian's Xiamen and Quanzhou, and between Taiwan's Matsu and Fujian's Fuzhou.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel