Hainan Aims to be Tourists' Paradise

The tourism industry of South China's Hainan Province saw booming growth and further regulation and improvement last year, according to the local tourism bureau.

The province welcomed 11.25 million tourists from home and abroad last year, up 11.6 per cent from 2000. And tourism revenues totalled 8.79 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion), 11.8 per cent higher than in 2000.

Holiday tourism flourished, said Han Lixin, director of the bureau. The number of tourists attending the Spring Festival, May Day and National Day vacations alone reached 1.37 million last year, which brought in 1.3 billion yuan (US$157 million) in revenue.

In addition, short-term travel over weekends and summer and winter camps have attracted more entertainment-seeking visitors, which also contributed to the growth of the province's economy over the holidays.

To provide tourists more orderly system of travel services, the province has taken efforts to further its regulation of the local tourism market, Han said.

The government has punished more than 140 travel agencies, as well as 600 tour guides, lacking legal accreditation.

Han said: "We will expand our tourism market to attract more Chinese and foreign tourists to come to Hainan this year, including guests form Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Southeast Asia, as well as those from Europe and America."

( China Daily February 4, 2002)

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