TAIPEI, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan posted its first tourism surplus with the Chinese mainland this year since opening to mainland visitors in 2008, according to the island's tourism authority.
Mainland travelers contributed about 3.63 billion U.S. dollars to the island's tourism revenues in the first six months of this year, surpassing the 3.067 billion U.S. dollars Taiwanese brought to the mainland, data from the tourism authority showed.
The tourism deficit with the mainland shrank to 726 million U.S. dollars in 2013 from 4.151 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, the authority said.
It also showed that the gap between mainland tourists and Taiwanese visitors traveling across the Taiwan Strait narrowed to 2.28 million last year from 4.18 million in 2008.
The demographics of the visitors have also changed. About half of the Taiwanese visiting the mainland were doing business, while more than 75 percent of mainland visitors come to the island for sightseeing.
Taiwan opened to group tourists from the Chinese mainland in 2008, and to individuals in 2011.