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Hainan emerges as popular summer destination

Updated: Aug 11, 2023 By CHEN BOWEN in Haikou Print
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South China's Hainan province is drawing families and students seeking a summer escape, with Hainan's three major airports — Haikou Meilan International Airport, Sanya Phoenix International Airport, and Qionghai Boao Airport — stepping up services to cater to the influx of travelers.

Amid sweltering temperatures in Beijing, families are flocking to Hainan to enjoy water sports and a change of scenery.

To accommodate the surge of travelers, the three airports have introduced various measures. Haikou Meilan International Airport has initiated dedicated check-in services for students who recently took the national college entrance exam, providing exclusive counters and personalized assistance.

Similarly, Sanya Phoenix International Airport offers exclusive services for students who appeared in the national college entrance exam and the high school entrance examination in June. These services enable students to reserve seats in advance and experience priority check-in upon arrival.

Recognizing the travel aspirations of college students, Qionghai Boao Airport has introduced a "summer vacation green channel" for students with valid IDs, expediting their passage through security checks.

According to the latest data from Hainan Airport Group, the three major airports are projected to manage 50,000 flights and cater to 7.53 million passengers. This signifies a 9 percent increase in flights and an 8 percent rise in passenger throughput compared to the same period in 2019.

Between July 1 and 31, Sanya Phoenix accomplished 11,315 flights, leading to the transportation of 1.798 million passengers. This marked an increase of 7.6 percent in flights and 18.3 percent in passengers year-on-year. This achievement represents a record high for the most transportation activity in a single summer month since the airport began operations in 1994.

Haikou Meilan International Airport anticipates operating 30,000 flights and transporting 4.18 million passengers, reflecting an 8 percent increase in flights and a 7 percent rise in passengers from 2019. Sanya Phoenix International Airport is expected to handle 20,000 flights and accommodate 3.25 million passengers, reflecting a 4 percent growth in flights and a 6 percent surge in passengers from 2019.

In the first half of 2023, Haikou Meilan introduced 203 routes, including 188 domestic and 10 international and regional ones. The airport intends to expand its offerings further, including plans to introduce routes to Jakarta, Seoul, Moscow, and Jeddah.

Sanya Phoenix International Airport has resumed regular direct flights from Hong Kong and launched the first international regular passenger route between Sanya and Seoul, South Korea. Additionally, an international route between Sanya and Jakarta, Indonesia commenced operations on July 21.

Zhang Hao, deputy director of the Sanya Tourism Promotion Board, noted a 77 percent year-on-year growth in South Korean tourists visiting Sanya from January to May. The new route between Sanya and Seoul is anticipated to further boost South Korean inbound tourism.

These newly resumed and introduced routes are set to elevate Sanya's international profile and facilitate business exchanges and global tourism, playing a pivotal role in advancing Sanya airport's stature as an international aviation gateway, as stated by Sanya Phoenix International Airport Co.

Qionghai Boao Airport is also expanding its offerings, introducing routes to Kunming, Lancang, Changchun, and Taiyuan, enhancing the options available for summer vacation travel.

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