Sanya in Hainan Island are booming, primarily because of domestic tourism. During the Chinese New Year, room prices at high-end hotels can rise from 200 yuan ($ US29.50) to 2,000 yuan.
“Everyone wants to go there now,” said Liu Erh-fei, who regularly travels to Sanya on vacation. “It is the warmest place to go in winter.”
“The aspiration of places such as Sanya is to become like Phuket or Bali,” Liu said, “Why do people always want to go to Phuket? Because it has developed the cachet of being a tropical paradise to relax and sunbathe.”
Liu Kaiqiang, director of the Sanya Tourism Association, said the city’s aim is to become “one of the first-choice worldwide coastal destinations in the near future”.