Duping stain on Sanya

Updated: 2012-02-02 08:00

(China Daily)

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Statistics show that Hainan province received about 1.35 million tourists from home and abroad during Spring Festival, up 20.3 percent year-on-year. Sanya city alone played host to about 490,000 tourists who spent on average 2,150 yuan ($340) a day. But Hainan has many other facets to it than just Sanya and money, says an article in Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

Netizens, including some celebrities, have posted about 40,000 comments in just two days in response to a micro-blog that describes how a tourist was overcharged at a seafood restaurant in Sanya. The collective outburst seems to suggest that a person is more likely to be overcharged in a place like Sanya.

Even though Hainan has come to be known as an "international tourism island", it is surprising to see the official micro-blog of Sanya government's information office claim that "there is no complaint against food hygiene or honest operation during the golden week" (Spring Festival holiday). The provincial administration for industry and commerce, however, said 45.36 percent of total complaints hotlines received during Spring Festival were from Sanya.

Perhaps we should consider the distinctiveness of the traditional holiday when we hear of large number of consumers having been deceived or overcharged. But the incidents in Sanya cannot be explained just by the demand and supply law.

Local departments have taken preliminary measures and have promised to follow them up with further regulations and punishment. But if the situation doesn't improve, it will harm tourism development in Hainan, especially Sanya. Hainan is surely ruing the lack of soft power in its tourism development.

(China Daily 02/02/2012 page9)