The Chinese Hainan province started a pilot tax-rebate program, attracting over 15,000 customers to Sanya's only tax-free store.
"Hainan appeals to mainland tourists as they don't need any permits to go there. However, the range of products in the tax-free store is limited," Tourism Board executive director Anthony Lau Chun-hon said said.
The Hainan brand name is becoming the world Aloha. Hawaii themes are visible in Hainan everywhere.
The fall in the number of Japanese visitors since the earthquake in the country has also started to diminish, Lau said, as business travelers stuck to their plans.
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