Beautiful beach on Hainan Island, China
The General Office of the State Council promulgated its "Opinions on Promoting the Construction and Development of Hainan International Tourism Island" on December 31, 2009. The document sets the goal that by 2020, the tourism service facilities, management, and service levels of Hainan Island will meet international tourism service standards, making Hainan a world-renowned island recreation and vacation resort.

According to the plan, by 2020, the value added by tertiary industries will account for 60% of Hainan’s GDP and workers in the tertiary sector will account for 60% of all employees on the island. The tourism industry is becoming more and more important in the economic restructuring of Hainan.

The first strategic positioning of Hainan International Tourism Island is as an experimental area for innovations in China’s tourism industry. As one kind of end consumption, tourism has a direct pull effect on dining, accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, communications, and many other industries. It is predicted by China National Tourism Administration that tourism will bring CNY670 billion in revenues to aviation, railway, highway, and water transport, and CNY1 trillion to the catering industry.

On June 8, 2010, National Development and Reform Commission officially approved the "Hainan International Tourism Island Construction and Development Plan", according to which Hainan will be divided into six functional areas — North, South, Central, East, West and Marine. The south area will include Lingshui, Baoting, and Ledong counties with Sanya as the center, a total of 6,955 square kilometers, accounting for 20.41% of Hainan Island’s total area. Meanwhile the island will focus more on hospitality, entertainment, recreation, health care, and catering industries. It will construct some tourism projects, foster a bevy of festivals, exhibitions and sports events, and build the Sanya Tropical Beach Scenic Area, making Sanya a world-known tropical tourist destination.

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