HNA Group has announced to partner with China Tourism Group (CTG) to jointly promote the development of Hainan's tourism industry and accelerate the establishment of Hainan free trade zone (FTZ), as reported by Eastmoney on April 11. Under the collaboration, the two parties plan to launch a series of promotional events to boost Hainan’s tourism industry by providing special aviation tourism products, organizing large-scale duty-free shopping activities, and establishing new offshore duty-free stores in the Sanya Phoenix International Airport.
Hainan was designated to become China’s 12th pilot FTZ in April 2018. China aims to basically set up an FTZ in Hainan by 2020, establish a free trade port by 2025, and fully complete the construction of the FTZ by 2035. Notably, tourism is crucial to the development of Hainan FTZ. The island province generated RMB105bn in tourism revenues in 2019, an increase of 11% YoY, which accounted for approximately 20% of Hainan’s 2019 GDP at RMB531bn. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused considerable damage to the province’s tourism industry, citing Sina. As such, the Hainan government has signed a collaboration agreement with Chinese online travel agent (OTA) giant Trip.com [TCOM:US] on March 22 and launched a supportive plan worth of at least RMB150m for local tourism companies on the same day, in order to revitalize local tourism and boost domestic consumption.