Sanya, a resort city at the southern tip of Hainan Island, is attracting crowds of domestic summer vacationers drawn by the climate, favorable offshore duty-free policies and innovative products and discounts by carriers and hotels.
Hainan has seen the fastest rebound in tourist arrivals in China since the COVID-19 epidemic began waning, even though overseas travel has virtually ground to a halt.
The favorite activities of travelers to Hainan include diving, sailing, photography, paragliding, sky diving, surfing and helicopter tours, according to Deng Yongbo, secretary-general of the Sanya Tourism Federation.
“Shopping at the duty-free complex in Haitang Bay in Sanya has also been a welcome experience among tourists,” Deng said.
With the duty-free shopping quota raised from 30,000 yuan ($4,270) to 100,000 yuan per person each year as of July 1, as part of the effort to boost the development of Hainan Free Trade Port, Hainan recorded tourist spending on offshore duty-free shopping of 450 million yuan ($64.3 million) in the first week, according to the General Administration of Customs.
Sales of cosmetics, jewelry and watches — the most popular products — accounted for 77.3 percent of the total.
“More than half the tourists to Hainan stayed in luxury hotels, which explains why hotel occupancy rates reached above 80 percent at Yalong Bay and Haitang Bay, two clusters of luxury hotels in Sanya, with rooms hard to book in some hotels,” said Deng, adding that tourists are spending money liberally.
In Haikou, at the northern tip of the island, local tourism authorities said they will soon launch summer vacation theme packages to meet the rush of tourists from around the country. This week’s relaunching of cross-province tourism will further stimulate the enthusiasm of Chinese people to travel to the island that boasts unique tropical attractions, Deng said.
From Thursday to the end of September, 13 Haikou scenic spots will jointly issue tourist coupons totaling 50 million yuan, and stylish nightlife attractions will be unfolded to promote tourism recovery and make time in Haikou more enjoyable for tourists, Haikou tourism officials said.
Author: Ma Zhiping, Chinadaily