Sanya (China), Mar. 2 (ANI): Touted as the "Oriental Hawaii", Sanya in China has acquired a reputation for providing cheap-and-cheerful packages for holidaymakers.
With long stretches of pristine sandy beaches and year-round sunshine, this beach resort in Hainan Island has set itself a target of becoming an ace luxury travel destination, giving stiff competition to Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand.
Sanya is in the process of constructing an international cruise terminal, yachting marinas and five-star hotels this year, reports the China Daily.
Li Boqing, the deputy mayor of Sanya, said that the 3.7 billion yuan investment in 26 tourism infrastructure projects on the island would overshadow its international counterparts, and city's luxury travel industry would experience rapid growth this year.
"We will re-identify the city's travel market and make a change in the city's tourism industry development pattern from the low-end toward the upper-end," said Li.
The construction of China's first seven-star hotel, a 200-meter high skyscraper, is scheduled to start at the end of this year on Phoenix Port Island.
"The company is building a marina with 72 berths, scheduled for completion this April. At the marina, a super-five star yacht hotel will open this August, with yachts able to berth at the hotel's lobby. We want to turn our marina into a 'paradise for the rich'," Frank Lin, the general manager of Sanya Visun International Yacht Club, said.
Besides ocean and water sports, the city that was once was known as "the end of earth", is beginning to promote cultural tourism.
"From this year, we will step up efforts to turn Sanya into a travel destination where the tourists can not only enjoy sandy beaches and bright sunshine, but also explore diverse local cultures," said Liao Minsheng, director-general of Sanya Culture Bureau.
The Miss World Contest 2008, the annual festival at Nanshan Temple, the international Orchid Festival 2008 are some of the efforts Sanya made towards popularizing it cultural tourism. (ANI)