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Sanya sets sights on well-heeled tourists
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Cultural tourism

Besides ocean and water sports, the city that was once was known as "the end of earth", is beginning to promote cultural tourism.

"From this year, we will step up efforts to turn Sanya into a travel destination where the tourists can not only enjoy sandy beaches and bright sunshine, but also explore diverse local cultures," said Liao Minsheng, director-general of Sanya Culture Bureau.

The Crown of Beauty Center, the city's indoor theater and home to the Miss World Contest, is the stage for cultural performances that includes shows about minority groups.

"The performances received around 700-800 visitors every evening during the Spring Festival," said Fang Sundong, president of the Crown of Beauty Center.

The Nanshan Temple, a Buddhist temple with a giant Kwan-yin statue in the sea, hosted various temple fairs during the festive holiday, and attracted 104,000 tourists during the holiday season.

In addition, the city hosted an international orchid festival in January that attracted more than 58 exhibitors from 11 countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Italy, and the United States.

More than 30,000 blooms were on show at the 2008 Sanya International Orchid Festival, twice the number on display last year.

(China Daily March 2, 2009)

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