BEIJING, June 5 -- Direct flights will be opened between Jinan, capital of eastern Shandong Province, and Taipei in July to facilitate travel between Shandong and Taiwan, according to sources with the local government.
As the three-hour direct flight cuts greatly short the travel time between Shandong and Taiwan, travel operators are making preparations for the booming of their businesses.
At present, because Qingdao is the only city in Shandong that has direct flight with Taiwan, tourists from other Shandong cities have to fly to Taiwan via Hong Kong, Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) or Xiamen (Fujian Province).
Soundbite: Chen Jun, Shandong branch of China Travel Service Hong Kong Ltd. (CTSHK) "Tourists used to spend two days changing flights. With the opening of the direct flights, it takes only three hours to reach Taiwan."
Taiwan is a popular destination for Shandong tourists. The direct flight will surely reduce travel expenses and give rise to Taiwan's tourism market.
Two direct flights are operated between Qingdao and Taipei every week. Shandong will become the fourth province on the mainland that has two cities setting up direct flights with Taiwan, following Liaoning, Guangdong and Fujian.
Xinhua News Agency correspondents reporting from Jinan. (XHTV)