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Hainan not to compete with Macao in developing gambling tourism: official

China's only tropical island province of Hainan will not compete with Macao in developing gambling tourism in its drive to become a global tourist destination like Hawaii or Indonesia's Bali.

"Hainan will not follow Macao's road (in developing gambling tourism). Hainan's target is to turn into an all-season garden for people across the world," said Tan Li, vice governor of southern China' s Hainan Province Thursday.

Tan made the remarks at a press conference for the Boao International Tourism Forum, which will open on Saturday in Sanya, a tourist resort in Hainan.

The forum has attracted more than 2,000 people from tourist sectors worldwide to exchange their experiences in boosting tourism amid the global financial downturn.

Sponsors of the forum included Hainan Provincial government, the National Tourism Administration and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Hainan became a province and China's largest special economic zone in 1988, enjoying preferential development policies.

The island boasts year-round tropical weather, beaches, forests and diverse ethnic cultures.

The central government announced Jan. 4 in a guideline that it aimed to build Hainan into a top international tourist destination by 2020.