After huge success with the Sanya duty free store, China Duty Free Group (CDFG) have unveiled plans to open the world’s largest duty free complex in Hainan.
The complex will be located at Haitang Bay in Sanya, Hainan Island, and will cover a total area of 350,000 square metres, including 150,000 square metres dedicated to commercial services.
CDFG announced their ambitious plans last week at the annual TFWA Asia Pacific dinner in Singapore last week, with a presentation and a series of films reflecting the potential of the Hainan business was played to business partners.
CDFG is taking full advantage of approval to operate independent duty free stores that was recently gained from China’s State Council.
2011 has seen the growth of duty free shopping on Hainan Island with the island becoming the world’s fourth duty free zone. A pilot duty free program was launched on April 20 that allowed both domestic and international travellers to Sanya to enjoy duty free shopping.
Over 14,000 Mainland Chinese tourists visited the 7,000 square metre Sanya Store on its opening day on April 20, and visitor traffic reached record numbers over the recent May Day holidays as shoppers flocked to the island province to grab a bargain.
'We keep our retail price the same or lower than Hong Kong and surrounding countries we try to make our retail prices very attractive to local customers who are very interested in comparing the duty free price at different countries and regions before deciding where to buy.’ Said CDFG Marketing Director, Antonio Hao.
According to Hao, 98.9% of business is from ‘offshore duty free sales’, which target customers who leave Hainan Province through Sanya or Haikou Airports to return to Mainland China. Foreigners who leave China from Sanya account for only 1.2% of total sales.
The five best-selling categories at the Sanya store have been cosmetics, watches, luggage and leathergoods, perfume, and small leathergoods.
Certain brands have been so popular that CDFG has had to implement ‘traffic restriction’ measures to minimize crowding in the stores. An ordered queuing system has been established to handle the ‘huge traffic’, and parking has been moved to a separate plaza across the road to avoid traffic flow problems and improve customer safety.
The Sanya store has drawn tourists in such large numbers that CDFG has entered into co-operation agreements with over 100 local tour agents.
'In order to facilitate the processing of group tourists, we introduced a tour group advance booking system,’ said Hao. “Local tourism agencies provide information about their tour groups in advance, and Sanya Duty Free store then arranges a suitable time for the groups to enter the shop and avoid the peak periods.’
'Also, group tourists’ information (i.e. ID number, flight information) is sent to the store in advance. We then prepare their shopping cards in advance. So when the group tourists arrive at our store, their tour guides can obtain all the tourists’ shopping cards directly from our service desk, saving time for the tourists.’
The new complex will be built in two stages, with stage one being completed and opened in two to three years time.
Hainan, dubbed the Hawaii of the Far East, represents a new phase in tourism development in China. The Hainan Tourism Alliance and are proud to be the first official promoters of Hainan in Australia.
Editorial Message
This site contains materials from other clearly stated media sources for the purpose of discussion stimulation and content enrichment among our members only. does not necessarily endorse their views or the accuracy of their content. For copyright infringement issues please contact