HAIKOU /China/, January 27. /TASS/. The total volume of sales in duty-free stores in the southern Chinese province of Hainan exceeded 1.68 billion yuan ($250.7 million) in the first five weekends of the Lunar New Year, up 20.03% year-on-year. The Hainan Daily newspaper reported with reference to the Provincial Department of Commerce.
Compared with the same period in 2019, sales at the province's 12 duty-free stores increased by 325%, the department said. Cosmetics, watches and leather bags were particularly popular with customers. The increase in sales is due to the recovery of tourist traffic after the lifting of anti-COVID restrictions and the Golden Week ( January 21 to January 27).
Local authorities pay special attention to the development of a chain of duty-free stores during the holidays and traditionally publish statistics on the volume of sales. According to official forecasts, Hainan will be visited by about 8.7 million tourists over the entire period of mass traveling across the country in 2023, that began on January 7 and will last 40 days, which is 13.6% more than the figure for the same period in 2022.
Hainan authorities launched a pilot program to create a developed duty-free chain in 2011. There are duty-free stores on the island in the provincial capital Haikou, the resort of Sanya, as well as in the coastal town of Boao in the Qionghai district in the northeast of Hainan and in Wanning.
On July 1, 2020, the provincial authorities increased the quota per person for purchases at the province's duty-free stores from 30,000 to 100,000 yuan (from $4,200 to $14,200). The list of duty-free goods was expanded from 38 to 45 items. Starting February 2 last year Hainan also launched a mail delivery service for duty-free goods for those leaving the island.
In 2022 the total sales volume of duty-free stores in Hainan amounted to 48.71 billion yuan ($7.2 billion). In 2021 the figure exceeded 60 billion yuan (about $ 8.9 billion). This year, the island's authorities expect that this figure will exceed 80 billion yuan ($ 11.9 billion).