NEWS BRIEF Twenty-four Chinese tourists, their tour guide, and a driver were killed Tuesday when the an airport-bound bus caught fire in Taoyuan, Taiwan.
Tour bus crashes and catches fire in Taiwan, all 26 people on board killed, 24 from Chinese mainland pic.twitter.com/wHkJjuQ9ng— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) July 19, 2016
Taiwanese authorities are investigating the reason for fire aboard the bus, which was headed to the international airport, which is located in Taoyuan, just south of Taipei, the capital.
Although China regards Taiwan as a renegade province, China is by far the largest source of visitors to Taiwan since the island opened itself to tourism from the mainland in 2008. According to the most recent Taiwanese government statistics, 327,254 tourists from mainland China visited Taiwan last month, accounting for about 37 percent of the 882,565 visitors to Taiwan in May. That figure is a 12 percent decrease over the previous month, the figures show. One reason for the decline could be the election in January of Tsai Ing-wen, the independence-leaning Taiwanese president. Tourism from mainland China to Taiwan has fallen since then.