Tourism recovering on China's tourist island

 Industry News     |     March 16, 2020
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

After scanning the health QR codes, Wang Tao and his wife had their body temperature checked and their hands sanitized before entering Tianyahaijiao scenic spot in Sanya, a resort city of south China's island province of Hainan.

"The staff did a very good job here for the coronavirus prevention and control, so we are not worried about the safety," said Wang from east China's Zhejiang Province.

It was their first travel to the tropical island, taking wedding photos at Tianyahaijiao, a popular attraction for newlyweds which literally means the "edges of heaven and corners of the sea."

All A-level tourist sites in the city of Sanya have resumed operation since Feb. 21, attracting more and more tourists, as the epidemic situation across the country is turning positive.

Chen Dejiang, a tourist from south China's Guangdong Province, has planned to stay in Sanya with his wife for several days. "My aquatic products business is bleak now, so I grab this chance to take a vacation," he said, adding that he felt very safe in Hainan where the epidemic has been under control.

The scenic spots in Sanya have received 74,000 tourists since they reopened to the public, and about 23,000 tourism workers have returned to work so far, according to the bureau of tourism, culture, radio, television and sports in the city.

"The number of tourists has been rising since the reopening, from 270 tourists on the first day to more than 1,100 on the International Women's Day," said Zheng Conghui, chairman of Sanya Tianyahaijiao Tourism Development Co., Ltd. "Special epidemic prevention measures are in place in each scenic site, covering ticket purchases and checks as well as tours, which are taken to protect both tourists and the workers from infection."

Noting that the tourist industry is recovering with the effective epidemic control in Hainan, Zheng said he is confident in Hainan's tourist market, although it will not fully recover until the epidemic ends.

"The tourism products based on health and sunshine will attract more tourists, as people will pay more attention to their health and families after the epidemic, and they will develop a propensity for taking holidays."

In a bid to cushion the tourism sector against the fallout of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and push forward building an international consumption center, Hainan provincial government has issued a slew of measures to support the tourism industry. The measures included reducing or exempting rents and taxes to help tourism companies weather the epidemic.

After the epidemic, tourists traveling on the island will receive a tourism insurance product for free, an innovative measure to make the tourists feel safe, according to the provincial bureau of tourism, culture, radio, television and sports.

Meanwhile, Sanya will set up a special tourism promotion bureau, focusing on the planning of tourism promotion activities as well as cultural and tourism events, global marketing, and joint promotional events with airlines. The new establishment will tap source markets at home and abroad, expand overseas exchange and cooperation so that tourism will become an important platform to serve the construction of Hainan Pilot Free Trade Zone and the international tourism and consumption center.

Hainan will also publish a detailed plan for boosting the recovery of tourism industry after the epidemic, conducting various activities to attract tourists at home and abroad.

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

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