The city of Sanya has become a top destination for couples to celebrate weddings and take photos.


The famed tropical coastal resort has sunshine, blue sea, white beaches, palm trees, and rock formations, all romantic elements for newlyweds.


Local authorities organized the city's first wedding festival in 1996.


The annual event has since drawn hundreds of honeymooning couples over a few days in December, said organizers.


Sanya now has some 300 photography studios to serve the burgeoning market.


Some studios and wedding planners even have branches in major cities on the mainland as well as Hong Kong and overseas to promote Sanya weddings.


Statistics show that total spending on ceremonies and photographs in the city totaled 150 million yuan in 2012.


The figure hits 1 billion yuan if accommodation, travel and other services are included, said a local official. He expects the figure to double in 2015.


Sun Dong, head of the city's tourism association, said companies offer a large variety of sites for shooting pictures and have developed innovative wedding ceremonies.


New couples can celebrate on the beach, on islands, on yachts, under the water or in hot air balloons.


Package deals that include the wedding photography, ceremony and honeymoon hotel are also available in Sanya.


The Sanya Tourism Association established a commission on Oct 31 to further boost development of the city's wedding tours.


It plans to encourage cooperation among photography studios, wedding planners, tourist destinations and hotels.


Lu Zhiyuan, head of the Hainan Tourism Commission, called for establishment of service standards to ensure Sanya continues to gain popularity with newlyweds from China and other parts of the world. 



SOURCE: China Daily
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