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China reveals plan to develop Hainan into global tourism destination

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The Chinese government said on Monday that it aims to build the southern island of Hainan into a top international tourism destination by 2020.

The country also plans to develop the only tropical island province to be a platform for international economic cooperation and cultural exchanges, according to a statement of the State Council, or the Cabinet, released on Gov.cn, the official web portal of the Chinese government.

The island will also become a base of agricultural production and a base for developing resources and services in the South China Sea, said the statement.

The government said it would maintain the healthy development of the island’s property sector and encourage developers to build premium hotels and resorts. It also supports family-run hotels and property-rental services.

Efforts should also go to the financial sector in the island by pushing forward the trial program of cross-border trade RMB settlement and backing qualified tourism firms to get listed in the stock market.

The plan also includes measures to promote modern tropical agriculture in Hainan, including tropical fruits, aquatic products and others, and expand its agricultural cooperation with Taiwan.

The government will further extend its favorable visa-free policy to five other nations including Finland, Denmark, Norway, Ukraine and Kazakhstan from the previous 21 nations including the United States, Japan and Canada.

The statement also said the government would boost the island’s development by expanding oil and gas exploration, offering more duty free services, improving transportation networks, developing logistics, reducing pollution, building more information networks and infrastructure.

The government plans to lift the value-added output of tourism in Hainan to more than 8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015 and more than 12 percent by 2020, the statement said. Figure of how much value-added output of tourism accounted for in the province’s GDP in 2008 was not available.

Hainan’s preliminary GDP stood at 145.9 billion yuan (21.36 billion U.S. dollars) in 2008, up 9.8 percent year on year.

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