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    China’s Hainan eyes 9.5pc GDP growth in 2023

    HAIKOU (XINHUA) – China’s southernmost island province of Hainan has set a gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 9.5 per cent for 2023, Hainan Governor Feng Fei said on Friday.

    Hainan will leverage a tourism revival to boost consumption, Feng said as he delivered a government work report at the annual session of Hainan’s provincial people’s congress.

    The province will this year strive to increase its number of tourists and tourist revenues by 20 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, he said.

    China in June 2020 released a master plan to build the island province into a globally influential and high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.

    It aims to build Hainan into an international tourism and consumption centre by 2025, and a globally influential tourism and consumption destination by 2035. Official data shows that during the three-day new year holiday, Hainan welcomed more than one million tourists and achieved a total tourism revenue of CNY1.5 billion, and its duty-free sales hit CNY422 million.

    ABOVE & BELOW: Tourists visit the Qishui Bay in Wenchang city, south China’s Hainan province; and tourists visit the Qilou old street in Haikou, south China’s Hainan province. PHOTOS: XINHUA

    According to the government work report, Hainan will continue to hold the China International Consumer Products Expo, and it will upgrade the competitiveness and attractiveness of its tourism to build the island into an international tourism and consumption centre.

    In the past month, Hainan has seen a tourism recovery, with tourist numbers and tourism revenues growing rapidly. It is estimated that sales during the upcoming Spring Festival will increase by 45 per cent year-on-year, up 10 per cent from the 2019 figure, said China Tourism Group Vice General Manager Li Gang.

    “We are inspired by the report’s development plan and feel confident about the consumption target,” Li said, adding that Hainan still needs to improve the quality of its tourism products to make the island more attractive to tourists.

    Hainan’s tourism and consumption were impacted by COVID-19 last year. As China continues to optimise its COVID-19 policies, tourism and consumption in Hainan have been boosted, said a Management School of Hainan University professor Li Weiming.

    “With more convenient logistics and transportation, we are confident that the government’s economic targets will be achieved,” Li said.

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