South China's Hainan Province has benefited from an offshore duty-free program, with sales revenue from the scheme exceeding 750 million U.S. dollars within two years of its launch.
Data released by the provincial customs authorities on Friday showed that 1.94 million visitors have purchased goods worth 4.68 billion yuan (752 million dollars) as of April 20.
The offshore duty-free program, put into place in April 2011 on a trial basis, is part of an effort to promote Hainan as an international tourist destination.
Under the program, individual tourists and local residents aged 16 or above can enjoy duty exemptions on certain imported commodities worth no more than 8,000 yuan before flying to other destinations within China.
Hainan currently has two duty-free shops, one in the provincial capital of Haikou and the other in the resort city of Sanya.
Commodities in the duty-free shops are usually 10 to 35 percent cheaper than in other stores, after customs duties, value-added taxes and consumer taxes being deducted.
Thanks to the program, Hainan's tourist revenues rose 25.8 percent in 2011 and 17 percent in 2012, according to provincial tourism authorities.
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