Hainan tourism plan as significant as Shanghai Disney project

16:46, January 05, 2010      

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Establishing a duty-free "shopping paradise" in Hainan is the biggest highlight in developing Hainan into an international tourist destination. In fact, Chinese people do not lack purchasing power or consumption enthusiasm, which has surprisingly manifested amid the international financial crisis. Latest data suggests that China's passenger vehicle sales volume jumped almost 80 percent year-on-year in October 2009.

Sooner or later, consumption will replace investment as the most important driving force behind China's economic growth, which is the trend for the new round of regional competition. In the past, Hainan once set a goal of becoming a major industrial province, and even prepared to establish a large iron and steel plant. China's other provinces also formulated many similar economic plans, because after all, heavy chemical projects will give a "dramatic" boost to local GDP.

If Hainan's new plan is able to show China's regional competitions a new direction of developing non-industrial industries instead of heavy industries, its significance will absolutely be no less than that of the Disney project in Shanghai. Although Disney's project in Shanghai will promote the development of the local tourism and entertainment industries, it still follows the conventional development model of driving high-speed growth by attracting large-scale investment. The difference lies in that the investment will come from foreign investors rather than state-owned enterprises, and the products rolling off from the production line are not billet steel but entrance tickets to an amusement park.

However, Hainan's new plan implies that the relaxation of policies is better than the increase in investment. For example, Hainan's plan contains policy proposals to implement visa-free entry in order to attract overseas tourists, comprehensively open up the tourism industry and relevant industries, develop duty-free shops, and open up the Freedoms of the Air.

If the policies were relaxed and internal energy within the tourism system was ushered, Hainan can effortlessly achieve a similar economic growth that Shanghai will attain through Disney's project and Beijing will achieve through making a 290 billion yuan investment. It can be said that this will see great progress in China's regional economic competition.

By People's Daily Online
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