Hainan Will Open Up Tourism Sector

Travel agencies outside Hainan province will be allowed to organize Hainan island tours under the province's new regulations governing the tourism industry.

The new rules,taking effect in March,mark a full opening of the tourism market of Hainan province,today's homeway.com report said.With an open market,Hainan aims to introduce more competition into the tourism market,which has been closely protected by the local government,officials with Hainan's tourism bureau said.

They said some measures the province has taken to protect its tourism industry--a main revenue source for the province--have limited healthy development of the market.Until now,travel agencies outside Hainan province usually used Hainan-based firms to arrange island tours because local companies were charged lower rates for tourism service facilities.

Both tourists and travel companies from outside the island will benefit a lot from the new rules,said tourism officials.They said tourists will enjoy better services at lower prices as a result of competition and companies will cut costs due to lowered charges for the tourism facilities.

(eastday.com February 28, 2002)

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