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'Hainan to become global leading tourism destination'

(Xinhua)

08:08, September 18, 2012

LONDON, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Hainan Province is expected to become one of the world's leading tourism destinations in a decade, according to a report released here on Monday by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The south-China island is forecast to have a tourism expenditure roughly equivalent to that of today's Singapore by 2021, and its tourism industry is expected to create as many jobs as in today's Malaysia and Italy by then, said the report "Hainan: Travel & Tourism Development Potential 2011-2021."

According to the report, the tourism industry is expected to contribute 46 percent to the province's gross domestic product (GDP), or 255 billion yuan (40 billion U.S. dollars), higher than last year's 35 percent.

WTTC also forecast the industry would bring about 550,000 jobs for Hainan in the coming decade, and a further 800,000 if the wider impact of the industry are taken into account.

WTTC CEO David Scowsill attributed the strong growth mainly to ambitious planning drawn by the government and huge investment into the industry.

He warned, however, that Hainan should take care to maintain a healthy balance between tourism development, preservation of cultural heritage, environmental protection and the well-being of local communities.

Another report released recently by WTTC showed China's tourism industry had grown larger than its automotive manufacturing industry and supports almost as many jobs as the mining sector.

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