From borderline town to global travel destination

Updated: Apr 29, 2019 english.sanya.gov.cn Print
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The beautiful sea view in Sanya. [Photo/sanya.gov.cn]

Back in 1978,when reform andopening up was initiated, the city of Sanya was known as Ya County, part of theLi-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Hainan in Guangdong Province. In May 1984, it was renamed Sanyacity (county-level). In December 1987, it was upgraded to a prefecture-level city. In 1988, Hainan Island was designated as a special economic zone. Since then, Sanya has been on a fast track of development as a focalpoint in southern Hainan.

In 1989, the city proposed the development goal ofbecoming an international tropical coastal tourist city.In the past three decades, Sanya has been diligently working towards this goal. Since the inception ofaspecial economic zone in Hainan, the province, includingthecity of Sanya, has adopted a series of key policies regardingdeepening reform andopening up, such asopening of traffic rights, offshore duty-free policies and visa-freeservice for59 countries.

As of 2018, Sanyawas home to39 world-class hotel brands. It also enjoyed wide recognition from home and abroad for offeringtravel attractions, including Nanshan Temple, End oftheEarth (Tianya-Haijiao), Sanya Romance Park and Atlantis Sanya Hotel.Today, emergingcruise and yachtbusinesses,low-altitude tours, wedding tours, parent-child tours, conferences and exhibitions, are developing atescalated rates. The city has also hosted major events such asthe Miss World Finals, theVolvo Ocean Race, theClipper Race, the World Travel andTourismCouncil andthe Hainan International Tourism Trade Expo. It recently won the right to host the 6th Asian Beach Games as well. To support the development ofthe touristindustry, Sanya has put in place the first tourist police team in China. The city is on a right track to integrateglobal standards in many ways, be itinfood,accommodation, travel, transport, shopping andentertainment.

In terms of urban planning, Sanyais devoted to enhancing urban functionalities, improvingtheurban environment, and upgrading overall quality,asevidenced by construction or completion of key infrastructure projects, such as thePhoenix International Airport, the Circumference Expressway, the Sanya Section of the Circumference High-speed Railway and thePhoenix Island International CruiseTerminal. A comprehensive infrastructure network is taking shape. Since June 2015, the city has been implementing the“ecological recoveryof the city” project, whichis intent on improving maritime, water, wetland, and mountain environments through proper planning and control in a city with outstanding ecological conditions. The forestation ratein Sanya isashigh as 68 percent,thegood-air day rateis over 99 percent, and first-class sea water qualityis over 98percent.

Currently, as a modernized city of tropical appeal, Sanya is becoming a hot travel destination for tourists from all over the world.

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