SANYA - The south China resort city of Sanya saw a tourist boom during this year's Spring Festival holiday, according to local tourism authorities on Friday.
Sanya, located in the island province of Hainan, received 707,400 tourist arrivals, a 25.47-percent increase compared with last year's Spring Festival holiday, according to statistics released by the Sanya Tourism Commission.
The Sanya Phoenix International Airport handled passenger throughput of over 420,000 visits during the week-long Spring Festival, or lunar new year, which ran from January 31 to February 6. In the past week, the offshore duty-free store in Sanya received more than 126,300 customers and saw total sales of 145 million yuan (about $23.92 million).
The island city and province have seen growing tourism since an offshore duty-free program began in April 2011 on a trial basis. Tourists and locals aged 16 or above can enjoy duty exemptions on certain imported commodities worth no more than 8,000 yuan before flying to other destinations within China.
China has made efforts to promote Hainan as an international tourist destination by issuing duty-free policies, tax refunds after departure, and visa exemptions for tourists from 26 countries.