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Sub-anchor: Hainan's offshore duty-free scheme

12-20-2011 08:54 BJT

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For more information on duty-free shopping in Hainan, we are joined by our reporter Guan Xin.

Q1: Could you give us more background on duty-free shopping on the domestic market, are there similar examples around the world and how are they working?

A1: Hainan’s offshore duty-free scheme is very similar to that of Japan’s Okinawa and South Korea’s Jeju Island. These places are geographically similar. All islands are suitable for tourism. In Jeju Island, domestic visitors can enjoy duty-free shopping six times a year and can spend around 400,000 won per trip. While in Okinawa, there are no limits to the number of visits and they can spend around 200,000 yen. And in Hainan, visitors can benefit from the discount twice a year and spend up to 5,000 yuan on each trip.

Q2: But 5,000 yuan isn’t that much really. It seems tourists in Okinawa enjoy more freedom. Have there been complaints?

A2: You are right, the scheme of Okinawa is more convenient, however, there is a difference. In Okinawa, only tariffs were exempted. As a result, with tariffs gradually lowering, the difference became negligible. People could buy the items at basically the same price all across the country. As a result, after 30 years, the policy was cancelled in 2002. But in Jeju island, people can still save between 20 to 50 percent, so the island continues to attract a lot of people. In Hainan, there are also lots of savings to be made. So the policy has been a great success: 14-thousand visitors on the first day alone. But in Hainan, this influx in tourists means shopping malls are crowded. Many costumers complain about this. In fact, in Guangdong, most people prefer to simply head over to Hong Kong for their shopping. They say, the environment makes them feel as if they are shopping abroad. So expanding this scheme will hopefully improve the shopping experience in Hainan and bring more Chinese mainlanders to this island-province in the south.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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