(Yicai Global) June 4 -- China's Hainan increased its number of international tourts by a meagre 8 percent in May since the southernmost land province eased its va exemption policy to include 59 nationalities, including the US, from May 1.>
The province, often billed as 'China's Hawaii,' saw over 24,200 va-free tourts after it expanded the exemption to 59 from 26 nations, state-backed online news outlet The Paper reported. After the policy change, passport holders from the UK, the US, Canada and a slew of European and Asian countries are allowed to enter the Chinese land for stays of up to 30 days.
The number of International tourts to Hainan crossed the mark of one million last year, which was one-fifth of that of popular Indonesian beach destination Bali, and less than two percent of the 60 million domestic vitors to the Chinese land.
In an effort to ease the passenger flow, the Chinese province upgraded its smart verification platform, opened eight self-service clearance channels, and set up a number of fingerprint collection devices. Once the declarations moved online, the clearance time for each flight has reduced by 20-30 minutes.
Hainan's city of Sanya has launched profiles on foreign media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to target these 59 nations with the potential reach of 35 million users.
The province started a va-free policy for inbound tourts from 21 nations in 2000. Th May, Hainan extended the vit duration to 30 days from 15 days or 21 days, and extended the va exemption from tourt groups to individual tourts.
Editor: Emmi Laine