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Hainan offshore duty-free shopping increases 195% over New Year holiday

By Ma Zhiping in Haikou | | Updated: 2021-01-04 21:50
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Consumers visit the duty-free shop at Meilan International Airport in Haikou, South China's Hainan province. [Photo provided to]

Brisk sales of offshore duty-free goods continued during the three-day New Year holiday in South China's island province of Hainan, with total business volume hitting 540 million yuan ($83.5 million), an increase of 195 percent year-on-year, according to Haikou Customs.

Data released by Haikou Customs on Monday said 76,000 consumers visited the seven offshore duty-free shops in Hainan during the holiday and purchased 669,000 items in total, a year-on-year increase of 80.9 percent and 200 percent, respectively.

Though official figures were not available, cosmetics, ornaments, wine and electrical items were on the list of top interests among customers, said Zhang Ke, a staff member at a duty-free shop in downtown Haikou.

Three new offshore duty-free shops opened in late December in the tropical resort city of Sanya, with one in Sanya Phoenix International Airport and the other two in downtown Sanya, raising the number of such shops to seven in Hainan.

As a move to promote tax-free consumption, the arrival of the new firms will help Hainan develop a pattern of differentiated competition and better meet tourists' needs for duty-free items, officials with the provincial Department of Commerce said.

In 2020, more than 3.4 million shoppers visited duty-free centers in Hainan, spending more than 31.58 billion yuan for duty-free goods, according to data released by the local department.

Starting on July 1, Hainan raised the offshore duty-free shopping quota to 100,000 yuan per person each year from the previous 30,000 yuan. Categories of goods were also expanded from 38 to 45, with wine and electronic products added to the duty-free list to attract more consumers.

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