Hainan, known as the Hawaii of the East, is an island province in the South China Sea. Sanya, located on the southern tip of the island, is the preferred domestic destination for established Chinese high-net-worth travelers. Given Chinese president Xi Jinping’s vow to make the area a pilot zone for reform, the aim is to bring more luxury travelers in from overseas.
According to Xinhua, the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China, only 1.1 million of the 67 million who visited Hainan last year were foreign (2017 marking the first time international visitation topped the one million mark). But relaxed government policies, an explosion of hotel development and murmurs of the legalization of some forms of gambling may increase the odds of international visitation.
“The plan to make Hainan [China’s] largest free trade zone by 2025 underscores the importance of this destination. In addition, many other factors make Sanya an ideal location,” Nicholas M. Clayton, CEO of Capella Hotel Group, said, including the fact that it’s a “destination of choice for keynote events, such as Boao Forum, Asia’s equivalent of Davos” and that there’s been “an addition of international flight routes to Hainan.”
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