How China’s Hainan Province became the world’s tourist destination

A view of Phoenix Cruise Port in Phoenix Island, Sanya City of HainanProvince.

The Island has the biggest Hotel in Sanya City. Phoenix Island is a

man-made Island (Photo: Morris Dogga)

By Morris Dogga in Beijing Hainan province has become one of China’s largest special economic zone and the only provincial-level tourists’ island. Since its approval as a province in 1988 by the central government, there have been swift reform that have taken place by both the central and the provincial governments to develop the area into one of the best sites for tourists. Since then the tourism industry in Hainan has greatly developed and it has become the basis of the national industry. In less than 30 years of reform, the province is currently one of the world’s tourist’s destinations. Last year alone over 22 million tourists visited China out of which Over 800,000  visited Sanya City-one of the towns in Hainan Province, according to statistics from local officials. But how did provincial and the National government manage to develop the place in less than 30 year? And how can South Sudan learn from the Hainan example? Zhao Yiwen, general economist of Sanya Development and Reform Commission explained the approach the Chinese Government undertook in Transforming Hainan Province. “We took two years to study ourselves and made the master plan.  The master plan says Sanya is a tropical area so we need to build a better tourism sites…We want to offer a nice place for the international visitors to have a better life. That is what we need. So we decided that, since we don’t have airport, we need to build an airport, we built the phoenix international airport,” says Yiwen. “The central government also realized the need of improved economy, the need of the Chinese people. The regional government decided that 12 resort areas be built in poor China; after that the tourism started booming very fast.” “So the second thing we did was to advertise the city so that people will know the potential of the city and we guaranteed that all the investors get quick profit of the area. When the investors see that they already get quick profit, other investors will be attracted in,” he added. “We guaranteed the investors to get their profits more quickly so that other investor from all over the world would come to Sanya city.  Adopting new policies and guarantee good investment environment and guaranteeing the investors to keep back their own money. These factors are more and more important for an economy,” he further explained. Chinese President Xi Jingping announced last year that all resources would be mobilized to help the province develop an island-wide pilot free trade zone. With the implementation of those reform policies, Hainan attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors both in the mainland of China and the international community. Sanya’s GDP increased 7.2 per cent, and local general public budget revenue increased by 13.3 per cent and the income of urban and rural residents maintained steady growth, Yiwen said. Tropical Climate Unlike other province, Hainan tropical climate gives it an average temperature of 23▪C to 26▪C. Hainan’s unique quality of eco-environment, Air, Rivers, lakes and offshore water bodies; it is ranked one of the top tourist destinations in China. Located on the Southern tip of Hainan Island, the city is home to the most beautiful natural beaches and the largest sea salt site in china. Exploring Chinese Cultures

Foreign journalists from Africa join the locals in the Bamboo Dance

In Sanya, the local authorities preserved ancient traditional sites dating back to over 10,000 years, attracting thousands of visitors. The journalists visited Zhongliao village located at the north of Jiyang district, Sanya, we were welcomed by a traditional band plying some of the oldest traditional instruments. The old men and women played the bicho-an instrument played using the nose. Among the 56 Chinese Nationalities, the people of Zhongliao village are among the top that can play the instrument. The village is home to 812 households whose main income source is crop planting, poultry breeding and employments in other places. The industrial structure of Zhongliao is based on its resources in planting, Li minority culture and its scenery. Visitors like me come to the village mainly for the Li cultural, sightseeing and leisure. There are also areas for different purposes, such as agriculture learning and orchard. The projects in the village with a profit purpose are operated by the village committee. The houses of villagers are designed differently and demonstrate the local culture. In another village called the Binglanggu where the Hainan Li and Miao Cultural Heritage Park is situated, most of Intangible Cultural Heritage Villages are found. Binglanggu preserves ten national level intangible cultural heritage items. Among them; the Li’s traditional spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidery technique which has been listed as intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is an ancient Li village where you can experience Li people’s life style dated back to 100 years ago. While there, the journalists were introduced to the Hall of Honor, Totem Museum, Exhibition Hall of Intangible Cultural Heritages, Centurial Granaries, Li Tattoo Museum, Shanlan Rice Culture Museum, Wine Making Workshop, Pottery Museum, Centurial Li Village and Coconut Workshop; Betel-nut Picking and Tree Climbing performance, bamboo dance, Longgui, fish stabbing and ancient harvest music performance. Among other performance was the drilling wood to make fire. It was performed by young men. Some cultures in South Sudan also know how to Drill wood to make fire but it seems to have been forgotten. We need to safeguard it. It might also be source of tourists’ attraction in the future. They also performed Weaving Li Brocade, Love Song Duet, Miao Pinching, Rice Husking Dance, Li Costumes Show and Bamboo Dance-ancient performance dating back to hundreds of years-but still, it is found in the village.

Body Tattooing was one of the practices of the people Binglanggu.  According to local officials there now only 100 older people who have the tattoos on their bodies. Photo of Tattooed bodies or faces are kept in a local museum where tourists visits. Coffee Plantation and rice plantation The people of Hainan province do not only depend on the tourism industry, Agriculture is one of the economic activities taking place in the areas. There are both Coffee and Rice plantations in Hainan producing tons of rice and coffee. A visit to Xinlong coffee plantation in Hainan, where we were shown different types of coffee that included the Arabian coffee and others from the different types of the world Founded in 2014, the plantation cover and areas of about the company now has coffee plants, coffee products The coffee produced in the area sells as far as Korea, Ukraine, Hong Kong and other regions. The coffee farm had helped the local community raise their incomes levels above the poverty levels. Being one of the best provinces, there are over 1,600 people over the age of 100 years. This is due to good feeding and the good environment. Hosting World Contest The city hosted the miss world contest eight times, becoming one of the cities to host the contest more times. Last year’s international film festival was also held in the province. South Sudan has similar weather, ecology, the river and the fresh air. The soils in South Sudan are equally fertile. Any type of crop can be grown in South Sudan but it currently imports most of the food items from the neighboring countries. The five years conflict in the country has brought most of the major projects to a standstill. Peace, stability and good policies are paramount to any Country’s development. If the current peace deal is implemented similar policies were put in place, the country will become one of the top tourists’ destinations in the world.

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