Tucked away at the southernmost point of China lies a tropical paradise boasting sunshine, white sand beaches and diverse cultural heritage – the city of Sanya. No longer an ancient Chinese secret, Sanya has made its splash in the United States as the Chinese entry in the iconic Volvo Ocean Race.
Heralded as the world's toughest sailing event, spanning eight months and passing through four oceans and five continents, the Volvo Ocean Race was most recently stationed in Miami – the event's only stop-over in North America – until May 20, 2012.
"The Volvo Ocean Race has provided a tremendous platform to introduce the world to Sanya," said Sanya City Deputy Vice Mayor Wu Yanjun. "Now, as we make our U.S. debut, we extend an open invitation to the American public to explore the beauty of our city first-hand."
As part of its two-week U.S. stop-over, Sanya showcased the region's tourism offering from an interactive pavilion in downtown Miami. Part of a racing village spanning 28-acres, the pavilion was flanked by sailing activities and educational exhibits.
"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Sanya to Miami. Sharing a host of similarities – from our beautiful scenic beaches to our diverse, lively international cultures – we look forward to strengthening tourism with the region," said Miami Commission Vice Chairman Marc Sarnoff. "It is our hope that the rest of America will soon follow suit, discovering the unique offerings of this incredible city."
Culminating its visit to Miami, members from the Team Sanya racing crew were celebrated at a private reception May 16, 2012 hosted by a delegation of Chinese officials, including Sanya Tourism Association President Liu Kai Qiang, Sanya Tourism Association President Michel Goget, Sanya Tourism Association Secretary-General Xie Xiangxiang, Deputy Consul General for the People's Republic of China Zhang Chuanbing, and Team Sanya CEO and Skipper Mike Sanderson. Leaders from South Florida attended the private reception to forge economic ties with the region, including Miami Commission Vice Chairman Marc Sarnoff and Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau President William Talbert, among others.
Through the Volvo Ocean Race, the Sanya Government is raising its city's international tourism profile. Receiving 10 million visitors in 2011 alone, Sanya (situated on Hainan Island) has become a preferred tourism destination. The city is home to approximately 80 four- and five-star luxury resorts, nine golf courses and an abundance of hot springs. With approximately 300 days of sunshine each year, Sanya is one of the sunniest cities in the world. For more information about Sanya, please visit www.sanyatour.com or www.whatsonsanya.com.
ABOUT TEAM SANYA
Team Sanya is the Chinese entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12. Skippered by Mike Sanderson, world-class sailor and two time winner of the Volvo Ocean Race, the team aims to compete at the highest possible level in the race. Sanya is the Chinese stop-over port for the race. Sanya is known as the "Hawaii of the Orient" and the Sanya Municipal Government is using the platform of the race stop-overs and Team Sanya to raise the profile of this amazing tourist destination.
Team Sanya was launched on June 17, 2011 in Beijing, China and is supported by Discover Ireland, Helly Hansen and Maersk Line Shipping as secondary sponsors.
ABOUT THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE
The Volvo Ocean Race traces its origins back to 1973 and is the world's premier offshore sailing race. The Volvo Open 70 racing boat is sailed by professional athletes, who race around the world with the prevailing winds. This year's Volvo Ocean Race started in the Spanish port of Alicante on October 29, 2011 and finishes in Galway, Ireland during the northern hemisphere leg in summer of 2012.
The first 31,250 nautical-mile race first took place over 37 years ago (as the Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74), testing the crews against some of the most ferocious elements that man can encounter. The 2011-12 race is the 11th edition of the event.
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