Tourism booms in Hainan Province

February 27, 2012 Edited by He Shan

Hainan island [File Photo]

China's Hainan Province has seen over 30 million tourist arrivals in 2011, and tourism revenue grew 25 percent from the previous year to 32.2 billion yuan (US$4.3 billion), according to statistics released by the province's tourism committee.

These statistics show that the project to built Hainan into a top international tourism destination by 2020 has made great strides in the last two years.

Duty-free trip a hit in Hainan

Haikou duty free shop [File Photo] 

Since the first duty-free shop opened in Sanya on April 20, 2011, it received daily averages of 11,000 visitors and 6 million yuan (US$950,119) in sales.

At the Haikou Meilan International Airport duty-free shop, duty-free goods with a total value of 1.4 million yuan (US$219,000) were sold on the opening day to more than 6,000 customers.

The customs duties in Haikou reached 10.601 billion yuan (US$1.67 billion) in 2011, up 57 percent from the previous year, according to local customs statistics.

"The duty-free shop will bring greater convenience to tourists and boost the province's tourism-related industries," Hainan Province Vice Governor Tan Li said, "It is a delightful achievement brought by opening-up policy."

Yacht rides increasingly popular

According to media reports, demand for rental yachts during the Spring Festival exceeded supply in Hainan Province. Yacht rides is becoming more and more popular as a tourist attraction. The province's yacht industry has seen rapid development. By the end of 2011, Hainan has built four yacht marinas that meet international standards, a total of 372 berths. So far, this upward trend has spawned 35 yacht clubs and more than 260 yacht-related companies.

"Yachting can strongly propel tourism and the local economy in a sustainable way," said Lu Zhiyuan, director of the Hainan tourism development commission. "Developing yachting will promote the development of related industries such as hotels, catering and manufacturing."

Cultural tourism cooperation

Hainan Province is aiming to transform itself into a platform for economic cooperation and cultural exchange.

In the last two years, Hainan held more than 10 high-level exchange activities such as the Boao Asian Forum, the BRICS Cities Forum, and the BRICS Leaders Meeting. It also hosted international sporting events such as Hainan international cycling race, Golf World Cup, International Snooker Classic and Asian Beach Volleyball Championship. These events took full advantage of Hainan's favorable policies and environment, which in turn constantly expanded the province's international influence.

In addition, festival activities promoting the local culture and folk specialties such as the Hainan Merrymaking Festival and March Third Festival attracted a lot of visitors.

"These festivals were vigorously promoting the organic combination of tourism and culture," Lu said. "Hainan will further strengthen coordination in tourism and culture and maintain efforts to built Hainan into a top international tourism destination."