Hainan Island

Hainan Island

How ‘China’s Hawaii’ thrived without international tourists
China has long had high hopes for international tourism in Hainan. In 2009, plans to transform the tropical island province into a desirable overseas destination by 2020 were announced. “But 2020 has arrived and failure to fulfill the island’s potential has not been for want of Beijing’s support,” reported the South China Morning Post in October. Not that Hainan has lacked in visitors. According to the Chinese tabloid the Global Times, “More than 83 million tourists from home and abroad visited southern China’s tropical island province of Hainan in 2019, up 9% year on year.” Tourism revenue also increased, rising 11% to US$16.2 billion, although noticeably absent from the article was the br