China’s southern island province of Hainan is planning to expand its existing duty-free shops in a bid to attract more tourists, the Shanghai Securities News reported Thursday, citing Tan Li, deputy governor of the province.
Authorities plan to increase the floor space at the Haikou duty-free shop to 4,880 square meters (sq m) from the current 3,650 sq m, while the Sanya store will be expanded to 60,000 sq m from the current 10,000 sq m, the report said.
Hainan has seen booming tourism since an offshore duty-free program began in April 2011 on a trial basis, with total revenues hitting 3.3 billion yuan (US$536.6 million) in 2013. China aims to promote Hainan as an international tourist destination by issuing duty-free policies, tax refunds after departure, and visa exemptions.
Tan noted that the central government has approved the construction of a third airport in Hainan in the coastal town of Boao, with operations expected to begin in 2016.
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