China Focus: Spring Festival holiday spurs duty-free consumption in Hainan

Updated: Feb 14, 2024 Xinhua Print
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HAIKOU -- Since the Spring Festival holiday began a few days ago, the duty-free consumption market in China's island province of Hainan has witnessed a new wave of shopping boom.

According to data from Haikou Customs, from Feb. 10 to 13, the duty-free sales in Hainan totaled 1.217 billion yuan (about $169 million). The number of duty-free shoppers reached 156,000, with an average spending of 7,802 yuan per person.

During this Spring Festival, Haikou International Duty-Free Shopping Complex, the world's largest stand-alone duty-free store, has been bustling with large crowds of shoppers.

Li Siying, a tourist from Central China's Hubei province, bought skincare products worth over 3,000 yuan for herself and many other products for her friends.

"The variety of products in the duty-free store is impressive and their prices are very competitive. Plus, the option for instant pick-up is very convenient," she said.

Li has been a frequent visitor to Hainan during her vacation period. "It's much more convenient to come to shop in Hainan than going abroad," she said.

The shopping complex in Haikou, capital of Hainan, also presented various cultural and tourism activities during the holiday, including dragon dance, lion dance and other traditional performances, allowing consumers to experience festive vibes while shopping.

After a few hours of shopping, Wang Duosi from the southern metropolis of Shenzhen had spent nearly 6,000 yuan on items like jewelry, wallet, cosmetics, and skincare products.

"I was too busy shopping so I didn't get a glimpse of any of the performances," she said, adding that she was satisfied with both the discounts and the shopping environment.

To boost duty-free consumption during the Spring Festival, the Haikou municipal government distributed 27,500 electronic duty-free shopping vouchers totaling 12 million yuan to customers.

Tourist Long Lifan from Southwest China's Guizhou province used a voucher and benefited from a retail discount to purchase a new watch priced at 5,280 yuan, down from the original price of 6,000. "The watch is stylish, and the price is reasonable," she said, while planning to buy some perfume and skincare products.

The diverse cultural and tourism activities, coupled with consumption incentives, have driven up the consumption for duty-free shopping, boosting Hainan's tourism market during the Spring Festival. The shopping boom also reflected the vitality and potential of China's consumer market.

After years of development, duty-free shopping has become a hallmark of Hainan's tourism industry. The province currently has 12 duty-free stores, with more flexible pick-up services being rolled out to improve customers' shopping experience.

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