South China's Hainan Province has seen surging offshore duty-free shopping, with sales revenue in the first 10 months of 2013 approaching 3.19 billion yuan (523.8 million U.S. dollars).

The figure was a 62-percent year-on-year increase contributed to by 1.09 million tourist arrivals buying 4.31 million items in two offshore duty-free stores, according to data released on Sunday by Haikou Customs.

Hainan currently has two duty-free shops, one in the provincial capital of Haikou and the other in the resort city of Sanya.

During the Spring Festival Holiday in February, the two stores gained a sales volume of 170 million yuan, a 95-percent year-on-year increase.

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.

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.


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