Sanya has embarked on an ambitious plan to attract more overseas tourists by intensifying global promotion, increasing subsidies and providing more tourism products.
The number of foreign visitors to Sanya dropped by 19.34% to 388,600 in 2014, only accounting for 2.87% of the island’s total tourist arrivals.
Tourists from Russia, South Korea, Japan, United States, Germany, Britain, Malaysia, France and Canada are a key segment of the market.
Tourists from Russia, who account for the largest foreign group, declined 40% year-on-year in 2014 to 76,400.
The devaluation of the Russian currency may be the main reason for the decrease. In addition,
the fiercer regional competition and airspace restrictions are thought to be other factors contributing to the decline.
"We are trying to bring in more international flights, but many countries in Southeast Asia provide trips with lower prices, which make them more competitive than Hainan”, said a local travel agent marketer.
Tourism has been a pillar industry for the island province, known for its tropical weather and white beaches, since the 1990s. The coastal city of Sanya, often considered China’s Hawaii, is famous for its great ocean view and seafood.
Sanya used to send delegations overseas to promote the tourist city and attract international visitors. Now the promotion levels are not sufficient, and airspace restrictions over Hainan should be further eased for airlines.
This year, Sanya plans to open 7 international air routes to Osaka, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Brussels and Frankfurt.
Sanya is also developing more tourism products to attract overseas travelers.
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