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Gov't boost for Hainan tourism

By Elaine Duan

The Ministry of Finance has allocated 5 billion yuan (US$ 732 million) in special funds for construction of Hainan International Tourist Island.

Wuzhizhou Island has been the most favored scenic spot because of abundant and unique tropic island tourist resources and advanced supporting facilities.

The central government has been developing the tourism industry of China's southern island province, often called "China's Hawaii," since 2000. It is now concentrating on attracting more international visitors. In 2010, Hainan's tourism industry will:

• host the first Boao International Tourism Forum;

• open duty-free groups and stores;

• introduce a series of top tours, scenic spots and resorts;

• plan and invite investment in large recreational projects;

• open a visitor center in Haikou and Sanya;

• improve Hainan tour signs system and service facilities;

• organize tourism developing and financing platform;

• promote Hainan tours;

• host a series of influential recreational activities, exhibitions and sporting events;

• improve the tour environment; and

• carry forward reform of travel agents and guide administration system.

Governor Luo Baoming said Hainan will start cracking down on crimes that will deter tourists, such as robbery and unregistered vehicles and tour guides.

"We will never allow any black sheep to tarnish the image of Hainan International Tourist Island," Luo said. "Hainan people will participate in the remediation of Hainan's tour environment to create a civilized social environment with integrity and harmony."

In 2009, Hainan had 22.5 million visitors, 9.2-percent increase over the 2008. It earned 21.17 billion yuan in tourism revenue, up 10.1 percent from 2008.