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Tourism resort seeks credibility after scandal (2)

(Xinhua)

13:53, March 10, 2012

During this year's Spring Festival holiday, Sanya received about 500,000 tourists, mainly thanks to its warm weather, sea and sand.

The glut of tourists brought enormous pressures to the tropical city of no more than 700,000 residents.

Almost all prices, from accommodation to commodities for daily use, were hiked due to the rising gap between supply and demand, Jiang said.

Moreover, the entire province, not just Sanya, faces similar problems throughout the winter, as a large number of people, usually from China's northern areas, flock to Hainan to dodge the cold weather.

According to a survey by Hainan's political advisory body, about 450,000 such tourists go to Hainan each winter season.

Some local residents have complained about how the rush of tourists affects their daily lives.

A microblog user with the screen name "Tina" wrote that hospitals and supermarkets are flooded with visitors in winter. "It is like a nightmare, especially during the Spring Festival holiday, when prices on almost everything soar."

In other seasons, however, many apartments in the newly-built communities are empty, posing risks to community management.

Wei Liucheng, Hainan's former Communist Party chief, said Sanya is going through "growing pains", as it still lacks sufficient infrastructure and public services.

Over the next 10 years, China plans to invest 352 billion yuan in making Hainan into a top international tourist destination by 2020.

But critics say that while much of the money is for infrastructure, more need to be done to improve services as well as the island's credibility.

"Frankly speaking, there is a long way to go before we build Sanya into a real tourism paradise," Jiang said.

"But we will make substantial efforts so that the tourism market will be improved by the next Spring Festival holiday," he said.

【1】 【2】

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