An overpriced meal in Sanya exposed by a micro-blogger during the Spring Festival peak season has put the coastal resort city in Hainan province under fire for its ambition to become an "international tourism island" by the year 2020.

"The 2020 aim is for quick success," said Wang Jianmin, contributing researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The "international tourism island" plan was proposed by the provincial reform and development institute in 2001 and the State Council approved the proposal in 2010, fixing 2020 as the date for "preliminary accomplishment".

According to Wang, however, 10 years for Hainan is far from enough, as international practice shows that cities with similar conditions need at least 20 to 30 years to achieve that status. Cancun of Mexico spent 30 years building an internationally acclaimed coastal resort.

An "international tourism island" is weighed in terms of the number of inbound tourists. Hawaii and Bali Island have nearly 90 percent international visitors, while Hainan gets no more than 5 percent.

The "mission impossible" can be attributed to inadequate facilities. Xia Feng, director of the provincial reform and development institute, said the tourism commodity supply lags far behind the increase in demand. "Hainan has to quicken facilities to guarantee the 2020 goal," he said.

 
SOURCE: China Daily
 
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