SHANGHAI, September 12. /Correspondent: Ivan Kargapoltsev/. A direct air route between Moscow and the city of Sanya in the southern Chinese province of Hainan may be launched in October this year, the Sanya Tourism Development Commission told TASS. Both Chinese and Russian air carriers have shown interest in flying this route.
The work to promote the opening of the Sanya-Moscow route is at the final stage. Hainan Airlines, Aeroflot, China Southern Airlines and other airlines have stated they are interested in the new air route. Currently, one airline has already applied for flight schedule approval and is going through other permit-related work. If the approval process goes smoothly, it is expected to open in October, according to the authorities.
Earlier, the head of this commission Ye Jialin expressed hope that direct flights from Moscow to Sanya could be launched by the end of this year. He also named Russia as one of the key markets in tourism.
Before COVID-19 and all the ensuing border crossing restrictions, Russia was among the top three countries that sent the most tourists to Sanya. In 2019 alone the city received about 300 thousand Russian tourists. Direct air service between Russia and Hainan has not yet been restored, tourists have to get to the island with a transfer through other cities in China.
The island is preparing to receive guests from Russia
At present, the department said, the entire tourist infrastructure is actively preparing for the resumption of the flow of Russian tourists to Sanya, which is famous for its beaches, local culture and attractions. Local hotels are putting up signs and markers in Russian and are preparing their staff to receive Russian-speaking tourists.
Travel companies, in turn, are developing exclusive and diverse preferential group packages for Russian guests and launching new products that include visits to local attractions. In addition, work is being done to establish cooperation with Russian specialists in the tourism sector. A Russian language training program for the staff of major tourist companies in Sanya is also being promoted, the department said.
The administration also works on accelerating the opening of other routes for air travel between Russia and the Chinese province of Hainan. In particular, we are talking about flights from Sanya to St. Petersburg.
Restoring air traffic in Sanya
Sanya is now actively restoring air traffic affected by the pandemic, both with other regions of China and with foreign countries. The city is aiding the process through several new policies and factors, including an increase in the per capita quota for duty-free shopping, lifting of the ban on group travel, improvement of the epidemiological situation, and active implementation of the program to build a free trade port and an international tourism and consumption center in Hainan.