A large comprehensive commercial complex is being constructed in Sanya, a resort city on South China's tourist island province of Hainan, to house the world's largest duty-free shop.
The Sanya Haitang Bay International Shopping Mall project is expected to begin trial operations in 2014, said Chen Guoqiang, the assistant general manager of the China Duty Free Group, the operator of the project.
Construction started on the 70,000-square-meter shopping mall project in April 2012.
Chen said the project will combine the duty-free shop with other services, such as hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, with an aim of creating a top international luxury consumption and experience center.
The duty-free shop will attract high-end international brands and other fashion labels, with pricing standards to match those in duty-free shops in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The International Travel Service Limited (CITS) Group Corporation will invest 5 billion yuan (about 805 million US dollars) in the project.
The State Council, China's cabinet, gave Hainan permission to implement the duty-free program on a trial basis in April 2011 as part of the efforts to promote the province as an international tourist destination.
Individual tourists over age 16 can currently spend up to 8,000 yuan per visit in two visits each year.
Last year, Hainan received 33.2 million tourists who stayed at least one night, and this figure is expected to grow in coming years.
The province currently has two duty-free shops. One is located in the provincial capital of Haikou, and the other is in the resort city of Sanya.
SOURCE: Global Times


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