The southern Chinese tourist resort of Hainan offers tourists the chance to live longer. The International Expert Committee on Population Aging and Longevity (ISCPAL) has declared the island province as a World Longevity Island. The only other island in the world named as a longevity island is South Korea's Jeju Island. ISCPAL conducted field research in 17 places in 2013.
Hainan has 1.2 million residents above the age of 60, 13.36 % of its total population. By 2015, the number of octogenarians is expected to reach 170,000.
The tropical island has high-quality air and water, an outstanding natural environment and strong social welfare system. A study by the ISCPAL showed that the hair of Hainan's centenarians has ample trace elements, which are beneficial to human health. The soil and produce in Chengmai county in western Hainan are rich in selenium.
Two places in Hainan were previously branded as "Longevity Cities" by ISCAL, Chengmai and Wanning. Wenchang City is also famed as one of the country's top longevity spots.
China hopes that this latest accolade will help Hainan attract health and wellness tourists. Longevity tourism is a peculiarity of China with thousands of Chinese travelling south for their health.
Longevity tourists even have their own name "houniaoren," or "migratory people," who fly south in winter and stay for several months. Hainan is seeing increasing numbers and wants to attract people from other countries as well.
The Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone, the only national pilot program in medical tourism granted by the State Council, is now under construction, featuring healthcare and longevity-related services.
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