China Focus: New duty-free shops open on China's island province

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-19 20:28:15|Editor: zh
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HAIKOU, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Two new duty-free shops opened Saturday in south China's Hainan Province, bringing the total number of offshore duty-free shops on the popular resort island to four.

The two shops, one in the capital city of Haikou and another in Boao town of Qionghai City, cover 38 duty-free categories ranging from perfume and cosmetics to bags and suitcases.

Operated by Hainan Duty-free Co., Ltd., the shops have attracted around 200 international brands such as Chanel, Dior and Gucci.

Qin Han, an outbound passenger who will leave for northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, purchased cosmetics worth more than 3,000 yuan (about 443 U.S. dollars) for his girlfriend, in the new Haikou duty-free shop.

"I usually purchased duty-free commodities in the airport shop. With the opening of the duty-free shop in the downtown, it's becoming more convenient to buy things," Qin said.

Zhang Xiaoqin, manager of the new Haikou duty-free shop, said the new shops could offer more shopping choices for tourists, contributing to Hainan's plan to be an international tourism and consumption center.

Since December 2018, the tax-free shopping quota in Hainan was raised to 30,000 yuan per year from the current 16,000 yuan, without limits on the number of purchases.

After the implementation of the new policy, the local residents of Hainan Province will also enjoy the same offshore tax-free quota as travelers. The travelers who leave the island by ship can enjoy the new policy as well.

Previously, locals were allowed to buy duty-free items in Hainan once a year, and the purchase could not be more than 8,000 yuan.

The State Council gave Hainan permission to run a pilot offshore duty-free program in April 2011 in an effort to make the island a world-class tourist destination.

Previously, Hainan had two duty-free shops, with one in Haikou and the other in the resort city of Sanya on the southern tip of the island.

Duty-free sales in Hainan jumped 26 percent year on year in 2018 to more than 10 billion yuan.

Since 2011, the offshore duty-free shops have attracted more than 12.6 million people, and have become an important driving engine for the island's tourism industry, with its total sales exceeding 40 billion yuan.

Liu Pingzhi, vice-governor of Hainan, said the new policies will boost the island's tourism and satisfy the shopping needs of tourists.

The policies are expected to drive the development of tourism, transportation, accommodation, catering and other service industries in the province, according to Liu.

Hainan, China's southernmost province, is a popular tourist destination. Overseas tourists made 1.1 million visits to the island in the first 11 months of 2018, generating revenue of around 680 million U.S. dollars.

China is aiming to build Hainan into an international tourism and consumption center by 2025 and a globally influential tourism and consumption destination by 2035.