Sanya Special: Duty-free city: Creating a new 'shopping paradise'
Updated: 2012-10-30 11:25
By Huang Yiming and Liu Xiaoli (China Daily)
The first Chinese boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, the Team Sanya has a rainbow on its side that symbolizes a feather from the lucky phoenix bird. Wang Kanghong / For China Daily
Famed around the world for its natural beauty, Sanya in South China's Hainan province has added to its appeal by becoming a duty-free island with high-end luxury shopping centers attracting millions of visitors from home and abroad.
"We should fully utilize the potential of Sanya's duty-free shopping policy and accelerate construction of duty-free stores," said Jiang Sixian, Party chief of Sanya and member of the provincial Party committee.
When it is completed next year covering 117,180 square meters, Sanya Haitang Bay International Shopping Center is expected to be the world's largest duty-free center with facilities such as business offices, hotels, food and entertainment in addition to duty-free stores.
The center will have more than 100 global brands priced 30 percent lower than traditional domestic stores and about equal to Hong Kong and Singapore.
It's part of ongoing provincial government efforts to attract duty-free businesses and become top international tourism island.
"The city is striving to be a happy land for both visitors and local people and to become a demonstration park contributing to the integration of urban and rural areas," Jiang said.
Previously known as Hainan International Duty-Free City, the Haitang Bay center is the result of an agreement between the management committee of Haitang Bay and CITS Group Corporation signed in 2010.
"The project will not only improve Hainan's international image, but greatly enhance services, boost the city's tourism, revenues and employment," said CITS Group said.
The city's first duty-free store opened last year on Tianyuya Avenue 20 kilometers from the airport. With 7,000 square meters of retail space, it offers cosmetics, watches, glasses and jewelry, from well-known luxury brands such as Dior, Chanel, Lancome, Estee Lauder and Shiseido as well as some local brands.
Its duty-free products are 15 percent to 35 percent cheaper, say storeowners.
It has received more than 4.2 million customers who spent a combined 1.67 billion yuan ($267 million) since the island's duty-free policy began on April 20 last year.
During the spring festival period, its revenues hit $23.2 million, some $1.44 million each day, according to figures from the Tourism Development Committee of Hainan province. Fertile Paradise, a joint project between Sanya Fertile Paradise Development Co Ltd and Deutsche Bank located at the city's Deer Square near the duty-free store, will be home to factory outlet brand and sports stores.
Built at a cost of $3.2 billion, "Fertile Paradise will become the best brand consumption center in China with more than 300 international high-end brands in clothes, jewelry, watches, perfume and cosmetics," the company said.
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