Business China COVID-19 Retail Tourism

Hainan Island’s ambition to become a leading tourist destination


Hainan (海南), literraly translated “south of the sea”, is a tropical island in southern China. It is mainly known for its tropical climate and its seaside resorts and often called the “Hawaii of China”. The main town of the island is Sanya, located in the south of the island.


Increased number of tourists

The year of 2020 was marked by the control of the Covid-19 epidemic by the Chinese government on the territory, and the almost-impossibility of traveling abroad. The island of Hainan, and in particular the city of Sanya, recorded records in the tourism sector during the second part of 2020.

Qunar, an online travel agency said that the number of tourists increased by 30% in the last two months of 2020. He also said that this number will increased by 50% for the Chinese Spring Festival.

Hainan is a popular travel destination in China for its tropical temperatures, nautical activities and shopping. Indeed, the island has a special duty-free shopping policy to invite travelers to come on the island and buy.

The flagship attraction of the moment is the Atlantis Hotel. It is a 5-star resort with waterpark, dolphin show, aquarium… In the Poseidon Underwater Suite, you can even admire sea animals from your bed or bathtub.



A prosperous duty-free business

Since 2018, the Chinese government has the ambition to make Hainan a free trade zone for the economic opening plan. Hainan is now offering travelers the option of entering the territory without visa for 30 days. The other particularity is that its a duty-free and travel retail place that attracts tourists.

Since July 1st, duty-free purchases can reach the amount of 100,000 yuan per person (instead of 30 000).

New projects are underway like the construction of the Haikou International Duty Free Mall in 2022, which will become the largest duty free shopping mall in the world.