China's southern island province of Hainan has come up with a three-year action plan to make the island a world-class tourist destination.
By 2020, Hainan plans to increase the number of foreign visitors to 2 million a year, and will try to bring in 50,000 migrant workers with English language skills from countries like the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Nepal, the English language Global Times reported Friday, citing the official website of Hainan Provincial Government. The government will issue work visas to those foreign workers.
This will not only attract more foreigners to work and live in Hainan but will also help strengthen cooperation with countries and regions along the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, becoming a model of the B&R initiative, said Liang Haiming, chairman and chief economist of the China Silk Road iValley Research Institute.
“If the policy is sustained, I believe Hainan will become another economic growth engine,” he told the Global Times.
This policy serves multiple purposes — keep domestic enterprises that wish to invest in Southeast Asian countries while introducing foreign investment to the province, Liang said.
The provincial government also plans to increase international flights to 100, and at least 70 of them should be direct flights, which mainly cover countries and regions along the Belt and Road, according to the plan.
Hainan is trying to provide “depart at sunrise, arrive before sunset” services for those major tourist sources. The airports at Haikou and Sanya will be built as round-the-clock customs ports, and the airport in Boao will be upgraded to an international airport.
China has offered a greater visa-free access to tourists from 59 countries arriving in Hainan Province in a move to support the island’s reform and opening up. The visa-free policy benefits group or individual tourists via travel agencies from 59 countries, including Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and the United States.
In April, China announced the decision to support Hainan in developing the whole island into a pilot free trade zone, and gradually exploring and steadily promoting the establishment of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics. (SD News)