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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Duty-free shopping booms in Hainan

By Huang Xiaohui, Wu Shengjing (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:55, April 24, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

By April 20, the offshore tax-free policy of the Hainan Island had been implemented for a full year. In the year, the policy greatly promoted the tourism and shopping consumption in the island, increased tourists to the island and expanded the influence of the island as an international tourism island.

According to data, the offshore tax-free policy has played an important role in promoting the prosperity of tourism and consumption markets of the Hainan Island. By April 15, the total sales volume of two tax-free stores in Sanya and Haikou had already reached 1.8 billion yuan. They had sold 2.9 million tax-free products and received more than 900,000 customers in total. The daily sales volume was 5 million yuan.

“Tourism has turned into a largest global business and it accounts for more than 9 percent of the global GDP. Currently, there are only four regions with the offshore tax-free policy in the world.” Insiders believe that, once the offshore tax-free policy makes a breakthrough, the offshore shopping of the Hainan Island will play an unbelievable role in expanding the domestic demand and meanwhile also play a part in guiding the sharply-growing overseas shopping to flow back.

In order to bring the huge potential of the offshore tax-free policy into effect fully, the Haitang Bay International Shopping Center of Sanya, in which 3.45 billion yuan was invested, has officially started construction recently. After it is completed, it will turn into a comprehensive tourism zone taking the offshore tax-free shopping as the major part and have a larger tax-free shopping space and more international top brands joined in.

Currently, tax-free shops of Sanya have more than 10,000 kinds of commodities of about 100 internationally renowned brands, mainly including perfume, cosmetic, jewelry, watch, clothes, leather products, bag, box, sunglasses, travel goods and special local products of the Hainan Island and other places of China. Many internationally renowned luxurious brands have expressed their wish of opening tax-free stores in the island and some even want to open exclusive shops, hoping that they could enter the central international shopping region of China ahead of time by taking advantage of the offshore tax-free policy.

“Before the implementation of the offshore tax-free policy, the Hainan Island's 3S-advantage is very strong. With the policy, we hope the tourism advantage will turn into a 4S-advantage, which consists of the Sun, Sea, Sand and Shopping,” said a relevant officer from the China International Travel Service Limited.

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