TAIPEI - The number of air travelers using Taiwan airports and harbors on Friday surged to an all-time record of more than 130,000 people in a single day as the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport registered a new single-day record of over 100,000 air passengers.
Officials at the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said air passengers going through Taiwan's international airports at Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, and Kaohsiung as well as the major harbors of Keelung, Hualien, Taichung and Kaohsiung increased sharply every day beginning on Feb 8, one day before Lunar New Year's Eve, growing at 15,000 people per day.
The figure reached a new peak Friday, the sixth day of the Year of the Snake on the Chinese lunar calendar, with a new record of 138,053 travelers.
NIA officials said they expect the figure may again increase on Saturday (numbers were not available at the time of print) or today as more local residents are set to return from trips to resume work starting Monday.
For the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the main gate to the country, passengers thronged the terminal buildings.
On Friday alone, the NIA staff processed a total of 105,160 passengers, including 58,125 people returning or entering Taiwan from overseas trips and 46,035 people leaving the island for destinations abroad.
NIA officials said it was unprecedented for the total single-day number of travelers entering and leaving the nation to exceed 100,000.
They attributed the high figure to an increase in the amount of local residents taking sightseeing trips abroad and a rise in the number of incoming tourists from mainland China and other areas during the holidays this year.
To meet the surge in travelers, the NIA assigned more staff to airports and harbors.