Save tourism on Hainan

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For the Boao International Tourism Forum that opened this weekend in Boao, Hainan island, we hope it isn't full of empty talks about the general development of tourism. What we would like to see is for the forum to be concerned about the island's exorbitant housing and hotel prices, which will threaten island tourism in the long run.

Immediately after the central government's January announcement to develop the island into an international tourist attraction, housing and hotel prices on the island soared exponentially, first doubling, then tripling, then quadrupling. They have now more than quintupled.

The central government's plan by no means wants to make the island into a scenery attraction for the rich. But 10,000 yuan for one night at a three-star hotel for a family of three is far too high for even while-collar professionals.

The sudden hike has indeed attracted many speculators to the island, and both local government and real estate developers must have made a tidy sum in the past months. But traveling to and staying on this island has been wretched for many families who cherish seeing the beautiful landscape on the island.

Speculators will only push housing prices higher in the near future. If bubbles are popping up in the real estate market and vacationing is becoming far too expensive, tourism will take a massive hit.

With all this in mind, the healthy and sustainable development of tourism should be one of the major topics for the forum.

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