Taipei's landmark skyscraper Taipei 101 is attracting more than 1 million visitors from the Chinese mainland annually, the tower's spokesman revealed on Friday.
It is difficult to count the exact number of mainland visitors to the site, but the observatory of Taipei 101 receives about 6,000 to 7,000 people every day, and about 55 percent of them are from the mainland, spokesman Michael Liu said, noting that the figure seems to have started surging from 2008.
Moreover, the mainlanders are also bringing about a boost to the tower's shopping section, according to Liu.
The sum of tax reimbursement the tower handled for mainlanders in 2009 rocketed 665 percent from the previous year and has kept increasing by 50 to 60 percent annually thereafter, he said.
Based on tax refund statistics, it can be estimated that visitors from the mainland have spent 2.34 billion New Taiwan Dollars (NTD; about 78.5 million U.S. dollars) on shopping in Taipei 101, and that they spent 1.7 billion within only the first eight months this year.
In 2009, consumption by mainlanders in Taipei 101 amounted to 500 million NTD, Liu said.
The spokesman said Taipei 101 values the huge potential of mainland consumers and is planning to set up a special team to provide customized services for them.
In addition to a growing number of tourists, the tower has also attracted 13 mainland enterprises as tenants to set up offices in the building since Taiwan opened for mainland investors, according to Liu.
Taipei 101, measuring 509.2 meters high, was the tallest building in the world until 2010. It has 101 floors above ground and five underground. It is regarded as a must-see item on Taipei tourist itineraries.