Canadian teacher sees Hainan’s tourism potential as a place with “many hidden gems”
By / Lin Jianing / Updated: 17:32,01-June-2021

With the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port, China’s southernmost province  has become an island of opportunities for the Chinese as well as foreigners, from investors to different kinds of professionals. 

Canadian Jennifer Kreisz, a teacher by profession, is one of them. Sensing that Hainan was a promising place to live and work in, she settled down here in the beginning of 2020, working in HAITC (HNU-ASU Joint International Tourism College of Hainan University).

(Photo provided by Jennifer Kreisz)

HAITC, Hainan’s first Sino-foreign cooperative tourism institution, opened in 2017 to promote Hainan’s development as an international tourist destination and assist the national strategy of opening up more extensively.

Jennifer has been busy recently hosting farewell activities for the students who graduated last month. They are the first batch of HAITC graduates and Jennifer’s pride. “This means a great deal to our school,” she said.

As she explained in an earlier interview, the HAITC students have an international outlook. “Our students are taught by teachers from different countries, so they’re exposed to various languages and world views,” she said. The majority of these students will go abroad for their master’s degree, while the rest will work in the tourism sector, promoting Hainan and the entire Chinese tourism industry.

(Photo by Chen Mingwen)

You can easily tell from Jennifer’s social media posts that she enjoys both her work and life in Hainan with its balmy weather year-round. Her Wechat Moments, posts and photos on WeChat, show her different aspects—an enthusiastic traveler, a big fan of Hainan local food, as well as a bass player in a five-piece local band called JJAM, which plays almost every weekend. 

(Photo by Chen Mingwen)

“I like to travel around the local places in Hainan and try out local cuisines. I always find the people welcoming and the food surprisingly delicious,” she said with a smile. 

The Canadian has integrated with her local community. She once celebrated the Lunar New Year Eve with a local family, enjoying a feast of Hainan local-style dishes that she had never eaten before. “I felt like I’m a part of a family in Hainan,” she said.

As for the Hainan Free Trade Port, the factor that contributed to her stay here, Jennifer appreciates what the Hainan government has done, implementing beneficial policies and driving innovations, and sees potential for further development. 

(Photo by Chen Mingwen)

As a tourist getaway, she finds Hainan a place with “many hidden gems”. “The province will be an international hub in the future. We haven’t seen its full potential yet as we are in the midst of a pandemic and everything grows slowly,” she said. “Hopefully, with more promotions, we will see it grow and more innovations will take place.

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