Economic Watch: China's Hainan sees robust economic growth in 2021

By / Xinhua / Updated: 16:42,21-January-2022

Customers select cosmetics in a duty-free shop in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, Jan. 14, 2022. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

HAIKOU, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's southern island province of Hainan reported progressive economic growth in 2021, local government data shows.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of Hainan Province reached 647.52 billion yuan (about 101.77 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021, surging 11.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the Hainan Provincial Bureau of Statistics.

The average growth rate in the last two years reached 7.3 percent, ranking first in China, said Liu Zigeng, head of the bureau.

In 2021, the province's total retail sales of consumer goods reached about 249.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 26.5 percent, said Liu.

The province's unique offshore duty-free policy has made a great contribution, with the tropical island reporting over 60 billion yuan of offshore duty-free shopping in 2021.

Duty-free shopping has become one of the core competitive features of Hainan's tourism consumption. Apart from the jolly island scenery, it has become a new reason for tourists to choose Hainan.

More than 81 million domestic and overseas tourists visited Hainan in 2021, up 25.5 percent year on year, which is equivalent to 97.5 percent of the number in 2019, according to official data.

Since July 1, 2020, Hainan has raised its annual tax-free shopping quota from 30,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan per person. The duty-free purchase limit for cosmetics has been raised from 12 items to 30.

The province has also rolled out a range of policies such as flexible pick-up services to provide a better experience for customers.

As for locals, in 2021, the per capita disposable income of permanent residents in the province was 30,457 yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 9.1 percent.

China released a master plan in June 2020 to build the island province into an international tourism and consumption center by 2025, making it a globally influential tourism and consumption destination by 2035.

As COVID-19 continues to make overseas travel difficult, Hainan has grown into an attractive shopping destination for domestic consumers.

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