The Sanya session features events on land, in the air and on the sea, highlighting the seaside resort's appeal as a world-class tropical paradise.
SANYA, CHINA - The Spring Festival is China's most important annual holiday and a time for family reunions. Family members getting together to watch the Spring Festival Gala on CCTV, China's state broadcaster and leading nationwide television network, has become a tradition throughout the country. At midnight on February 16, 2018, a spectacular firework show was held at Sanya Phoenix Island International Cruise Terminal, one of the venues where the parallel sessions of this year's Spring Festival Gala for the Year of the Dog were hosted, in celebration of the arrival of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Visitors from near and afar, many from abroad, joined the extravaganza.
In addition to the hosting of the main session of the gala in Beijing, parallel sessions of the event were simultaneously held in four Chinese cities: Zhuhai (Guangdong province), Tai'an (Shandong province), Sanya (Hainan province) and Qiandongnan (Guizhou province). Sanya was the only city to feature events on land, on the sea and in the air.
In ancient times, Sanya, was also known as "Lucheng" (which signifies Deer City), an alternate name that is still frequently evoked today. Sanya's location at the southernmost tip of Hainan Island gives the city a strategic role in the build out of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the Chinese government's initiative to reinvigorate the southern trade routes that connected China to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe in ancient times. Sanya is considered as one of China's Top 200 Charming Cities and one of the World's Top 200 Charming Cities according to two authoritative lists jointly compiled by the World Cities and World Business Research Association (WWRA) and other organizations. The resort city is often also referred to as "the Oriental Hawaii" and is China's sole tropical coastal tourist destination.
At Sanya Phoenix Island International Cruise Terminal, the combination of elaborate programming and sound and light technology has created the memorable, breathtaking session of the Spring Festival Gala on the sea. The session highlighted the national and cultural characteristics of Hainan Island, including bamboo and bamboo hat dance performances put on by members of the local Li and Miao nationalities. The application of advanced modern technologies, including the sound and light technology, has added to the feeling of excitement and demonstrated what has been achieved in the process of the development of Sanya's luxury tourism sector and the city's growing cosmopolitanism. The presence of former global and regional Miss World champions from eight countries worldwide on the stage of the Sanya session not only drew gasps from Chinese and international audiences but has also increased the city's appeal as a fashionable world-class tourism destination by the sea. Being the host city of the Miss World pageant has served as an important milestone that has enhanced the city's international influence as a travel destination over the past three years.
The internationally recognized travel destination that Sanya has become can be attributed to its innumerable tourism resources, among which one can count the island landscape, the blue sea and sky, the expanses of white sand and coconut forests as well as the many bays and beaches. The city is also notable for the variety of outdoor sporting events, including motor- and sailboat tours, diving, mountain climbing, golf and road cycling, allowing visitors to experience the charm of Sanya as a passionate, dynamic and fashionable tourism city exemplified by the city's rich schedule of tourism events held variously on the ground, in the air or on the sea.
In addition, Sanya, a destination that can be easily accessed by sea, land and air, has, to date, launched international air routes to 23 countries and regions worldwide, including Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. The city is accelerating the development of the cruise vacation market for tourists from Southeast Asia by leveraging the advantages of Sanya Phoenix Island International Cruise Terminal and by creating the largest cruise ship docking facility in Asia. Visitors can travel between the city and its many attractions via a variety of transport vehicles, including trans-island high-speed rail, helicopter, tramcar and water-borne bus. Seventeen international hotel groups and 43 international hotel brands have established a presence in Sanya, giving the city the ability to offer world-class and personalized travel and vacation services to visitors from around the globe. Of note, after four years of construction, Atlantis' third hotel is scheduled to open in Sanya during this year's Spring Festival holiday period, marking a new stage in the transformation of the city's tourism sector. Furthermore, Cirque Du Soleil's Avatar show, which has been held in more than 60 cities across 11 countries and regions worldwide, is slated to make its China debut in Sanya during the holiday, delivering an epic visual experience to visitors.
Today, Sanya, with its ongoing commitment to transforming itself into a world-class tourism destination, is attracting an ever-growing number of visitors from around the world thanks to its unique appeal as a seaside tropical paradise. Sanya is the only Chinese city that has been named as one of the World's Top Places Worth Visiting in 2017 by The New York Times.