Planetdwellers co-founder Barry Warner: Sanya to be the next Phuket
Guests at the 1st Annual Hainan Tourism and MICE trade show, held in Sydney this week, have been told to get to Hainan now.
"Hainan is a place that you need to get your clients to," Planetdwellers co-founder and lead guide Barry Warner said.
Sanya, Hainan's second largest city and biggest drawcard, attracts 80 per cent of Hainan's tourism and lays claim to being China's only tropical city.
"In five years time you'll be selling Sanya like you're currently selling Phuket," Mr Warner added.
"In Sanya you'll see the best of China".
Literally meaning "South of the sea", Hainan is China's southernmost province and is already popular among tourists from Japan, China and Russia.
"Hainan is a beautiful tropical Island, surrounded by mountains and white sandy beaches. We hope that our trade show encourages more Australians to visit Sanya in the near future" Sanya Tourism Association secretary general Dr Xie Xiang commented.
"You can enjoy the Chinese ocean, just like Sydney, except Sanya is warmer."
According to the Sanya Tourism Development Board, in 2010 Hainan hosted 3,000 MICE events, with approximately 300, 000 visitors flocking to Hainan for business trips.
"With twice daily flights from Sydney and daily flights from Melbourne, China Southern Airlines brings the paradise even closer," Hainan Tourism Australia director Michael Lee said.
Dubbed the 'Hawaii of the East', Hainan is unique in all of China in that the island offers visas on arrival without the need for visitors to pre-apply for a Chinese visa in their home country.
The event, held at the Sheraton on the Park, concluded with a cocktail reception and a prize draw with a generous range of accommodation prizes and flights to the Island.