China plans to boost tourism in Hainan
China plans to develop the southern island of Hainan, China's only tropical province, into a top international tourism destination by 2020, according to a statement released by the State Council Monday.
Also, the government aims to develop Hainan into a platform for international economic cooperation and cultural exchanges, a base for agricultural production and developing resources and services in the South China Sea.
The government encourages developers to build premium hotels and resorts in Hainan. Meanwhile, family-operated hotels and property-rental services will be encouraged, according to the statement.
There will also be an emphasis on the development of the financial industry in the island. China will extend its yuan trade settlement trial program to Hainan Province and encourage qualified tourism firms there to list on the stock market.
The government also launched other measures to boost the island's development, including expanding oil and gas exploration, offering more duty-free services, reducing pollution and building more information networks and infrastructure.
The plan also includes measures to promote modern tropical agriculture in Hainan, including tropical fruits and aquatic products, and expand its agricultural cooperation with Taiwan.
The government will extend its favorable visa-free policy to five other nations including Finland, Denmark, Norway, Ukraine and Kazakhstan from the previous 21 nations, including the US, Japan and Canada.
Also, the government aims to raise the value-added output of tourism in Hainan to more than 8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015 and more than 12 percent by 2020.
In 2008, the province's gross domestic product rose 9.8 percent year-on-year to 145.9 billion yuan ($21.36 billion), according to preliminary data from the government.
Hainan is a popular holiday destination among domestic travelers and some foreign tourists. In 2007 there were 18 million domestic tourists, and 750,000 from overseas.
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