Sydney and Melbourne are preparing for the arrival of delegates from the Hainan Tourism Development Commission who are set to make their first official visit to Australia in July this year.

To welcome these distinguished guests and celebrate Hainan’s progress as a top international tourist destination, the Hainan International Tourism Alliance (HITA) will host the 2011 Hainan Travel Convention to be held at Sydney’s Marriott Hotel on July 12 and the Hilton in Melbourne on July 13.

The visit will see industry professionals joining an official presence that will include Mr Hu Yue Ming, CEO of the Hainan Tourism Development Commission and other tourism delegates from Sanya, Hainan’s tourism capital.

The first official visit of Mr Hu marks a huge step in Hainan’s relations with Australia in a year set to be one of the biggest for the island’s development.

'I am excited for Sanya and Hainan to be introduced to Australia and to the world,’ said Mr Hu. ‘We have already seen a sharp increase in tourist numbers in Hainan, and we are preparing for those numbers to skyrocket in the next few years,’ he said.

At the 2011 Hainan Travel Convention, the Australian travel industry will be introduced to the big picture of tourism development on Hainan from luxury accommodation to MICE facilities.

The island’s status as one of the last culturally authentic tropical island destinations will also be celebrated, alongside Hainan’s clean and green vision to become a top international ecotourism hotspot.

'The visit of Hainan Tourism officials will not only be a chance for the Australian tourism industry to learn more about development and investment opportunities in Hainan, but also to strengthen ties in tourism between Australia and Hainan,’ said Michael Lee, Director of HITA.

Dubbed ‘the Hawaii of the Far East’, Hainan is China’s only tropical island province and the country’s southernmost point, located in the South China Sea. It has been in the spotlight in recent years as part of the Chinese government’s ten-year plan to make the island one of world`s top international tourist destinations by 2020.

‘The development of Hainan over the last 10 years has made it the premier island destination in all of Southern Asia’, says Vice Mayor of Sanya City and Chairman of Sanya’s Tourism Development Commission, Mr Li Bai Qing. ‘It’s time now for the world to discover Hainan.’

In the last year alone the island has played host to numerous international sporting events and festivals, including five Miss World competitions, and will host the prestigious Mission Hills golf tournament later this year.

Big names in business and politics have attended conferences and events on the island, including Kevin Rudd, John Howard, Bob Hawke and former US President George W. Bush, who remembers Hainan as ‘that Hawaii type place, but with better golf.’

With increased flights between Hainan and both Sydney and Melbourne, as well as the introduction of a free landing visa to Australians travelling in groups of five or more, travel to Hainan is becoming easier by the day.

As the 2011 Hainan Travel Convention will tell, by providing a culturally authentic and cost effective alternative to other island destinations, Hainan’s pristine shores won’t remain empty for long. Guests to the Convention will be treated to a sit down dinner and have the chance to win prizes. For more information or to RSVP please contact

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