Sanya Special: Sanya sets its sail for more cultural tourism
Updated: 2012-10-30 11:25
By Huang Yiming (China Daily)
Star Cruises liner docks at the Sanya Phoenix Cruise Terminal. Huang Yiming / China Daily
Famed for its sun and sea, Sanya has a new policy combining tourism with culture to boost the local economy.
"Sanya's glamour not only lies in its fabulous natural beauty, but also the area's culture," said Sun Su, member of the city's Party committee and head of the information department.
She said the city recently put forward its own tourism projects that will surly promote the whole industry.
An example is the tourism zone Betel Nut Valley, which boosted its capacity by 140 percent to accommodate the large number of visitors during the national holiday this year.
Another is a symbol of Sanya's dancing, the live Good Charm of Betel Nut Valley show, which has deep roots in the region's hunting tradition and folk songs. It attracts millions of tourists every year.
Cherry Apple Tree, a love story musical and dance performance combining Miao, Li and Han folk cultures has hosted a total audience of 100,000 at more than 200 successful stage shows.
Statistics show that Sanya received 8.58 million tourists last year, a 14.5 percent increase over 2010. In the first half of this year, the number reached 4.44 million, year-on-year growth of 3.16 percent.
The Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone received 148,700 visitors during the holiday period this year, an increase of 13.18 percent over the same period last year, according to the statistics bureau of the municipal government.
The Tianya-Haijiao Scenic Area widely known for beaches and cultural connotations received 93,100 visitors during the national holiday period this year, a 1.1 percent rise over the same period in 2011.
Under the guidance of the Sanya's government, the city is striving to develop its culture industry even further.
Planned for completion in 2018, South China Sea Studio City is the first in China to cover a full range of movie-related services from production studios to sightseeing, entertainment and even a hot spring.
With an investment of 4 billion yuan ($640 million), the studio city will cover 300,000 square meters when complete.
"There is still a long way to go for the integration of culture and tourism, but we are committed to making great efforts to achieve that," said Xu Zhenling, Sanya deputy-mayor.
The Miss World Beauty Contest, which has been held five times in Sanya, has greatly accelerated the local economy and promoted the city's image, said Xu.
As well, the show Romantic Tianya with themes of beauty and love, and depicting the island's natural beauty and cultural heritage, continues to attract visitors from home and abroad.
To host the Volvo Ocean Race, the city has built support facilities including a port, hotels, restaurants, clubs, control towers and inspection halls.
The sailing boat Team Sanya sponsored by the Tourism Committee of Hainan province is the first Chinese boat in the Volvo Ocean Race. More than 80,000 visitors joined the race in the first six days of the event.
Other cultural activities include an International Music Art Fireworks Contest, the exhibition Divine Land by painter Cui Ruzhuo and China Tourism Day on 19 May.
Tian Yi'nan contributed to the story.