From the Taipei Times:
More than 646,000 Chinese have made sightseeing trips to Taiwan in the 18 months since the government relaxed regulations on Chinese tourists in July 2008, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday.
Though the number of Chinese tourists has risen steadily, it was expected to grow even more once Taiwan and China swap offices governing tourism and travel affairs, the council said… Between July 2008 and Dec. 31 last year, 26,488 Chinese tour groups — a total of 646,783 people — visited Taiwan, mostly on eight-day, seven-night tours.
With daily individual spending estimated at US$250, the tourists have contributed roughly US$1.13 billion to the economy, the council said.
However, the number of Chinese tourists has not reached the average quota of 3,000 per day.
See also this recent CDT post on mainland visitors to Taiwan over Chinese New Year day.
In related news, Chinese tourists to Japan are also on the rise:
Bilingual sales staff are gaining in popularity, especially those who can speak in Mandarin, as shops in the glitzy Ginza district in Tokyo are eager to attract more Chinese customers during the festive Lunar New Year period.
The shopping belt has leaflets and maps printed for Chinese tourists, more shops are accepting Chinese banking cards and some even offer complimentary gifts for shoppers from China.
The Mitsukoshi department store in Ginza went a step further, opening a whole new area just for Chinese visitors… Tourists from China are on the rise – passing the one million mark – even though overall visitor arrivals fell last year.